Gretchen Whitmer’s blowout $79 billion state budget proposal isn’t just about spending record amounts of taxpayer dollars, it’s about protecting progressive ideology, too.
Whitmer’s budget – which has yet to be taken up by the Legislature – includes the following language in 17 different department budgets: “No money appropriated in part 1 shall be used to restrict or interfere with actions related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); to restrict or impede marginalized community’s access to government resources, programs or facilities; or to diminish, interfere with, or restrict an individual’s ability to exercise the right to reproductive freedom.”
The language is found in the MDARD, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Civil Rights, State Police, Corrections, Education, Health and Human Services, Natural Resources, Transportation, EGLE, DFIS, Labor & Economic Opportunity, LARA, DTMB, and Treasury budgets, as well as the Education omnibus.
Similar language was not in budgets negotiated by Republicans, only when Democrats took full control of state government.
Critics may contend the “right to reproductive freedom” language could stifle attempts to encourage alternatives to abortion. Whitmer has been a champion at doing just that.
In the 2023 budget, Whitmer vetoed several expenditures designed to educate expectant mothers about their choices. Bridge reported Whitmer line-item vetoed $21 million in spending:
That includes $10 million Republicans had included for marketing programs that promote adoption as an alternative to abortion, $2 million in tax credits for adoptive parents and $3 million for a “maternal navigator pilot program” that would be run by a nonprofit that “promotes childbirth and alternatives to abortion.”
Whitmer will also veto $1.5 million Republicans included for “pregnancy resource centers” and $700,000 for Real Alternatives, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit that expanded into Michigan several years ago, according to her office.
“We have the largest budget in history, and we want to throw a bone to adoptive parents, and she’s vetoing that? Wow, she’s for women alright,” Genevieve Marnon, legislative director of Right to Life of Michigan, told Bridge Michigan.
The language in Whitmer’s budget represents a growing chasm between Red and Blue states.
As Michigan increasingly institutes the far-left DEI ideology, other states are moving to undermine the danger.
Texas state Rep. Carl Tepper (R) has introduced a bill to abolish DEI bureaucracies at state universities.
BREAKING: Texas State Rep. @CarlTepper has introduced a bill to abolish the DEI bureaucracies in all state universities. The legislation would shut down left-wing racialism and restore colorblind equality in higher education. pic.twitter.com/fHvTpMXpDU
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) March 1, 2023
In February, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced he intends to ban funding for university DEI programs, hoping they will “wither on the vine” without state dollars.
“In Florida, we will build off of our higher education reforms by aligning core curriculum to the values of liberty and the Western tradition, eliminating politicized bureaucracies like DEI, increasing the amount of research dollars for programs that will feed key industries with talented Florida students, and empowering presidents and boards of trustees to recruit and hire new faculty, including by dedicating record resources for faculty salaries,” DeSantis said in a press release.