Lucido: Gov. Whitmer is punishing our children and their schools

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Peter J. Lucido, R-Shelby Township, issued the following statement on Wednesday after the Senate Fiscal Agency indicated the state’s School Aid Fund is facing a $1.3 billion shortfall for the current fiscal year:

“The governor is the chief executive of our state. The CEO of any organization, let alone one who leads 10 million people and oversees a nearly $60 billion budget, is expected to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

“But throughout Gov. Whitmer’s myopic handling of the coronavirus crisis, she has not shown an ability to meet the many expectations that come with her job. Her sole focus on public health has come at the expense of everything else.

“The governor’s extreme executive action has led to the unemployment of more than 1.3 million workers in our state. The ensuing economic damage that followed business closures and job losses was as predictable as it has been devastating.

“Last week, state economists estimated that state sales tax receipts in April were down significantly compared to last April, coming in at hundreds of millions below forecasted revenues.

“A portion of that sales tax revenue collected goes to the School Aid Fund, and today the Senate Fiscal Agency released its forecast for Friday’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference. It noted the School Aid Fund is facing an astonishing $1.3 billion shortfall for this current fiscal year. This loss in funding could have a direct and severe impact on our schools and the education of our students, not only in the state’s second-largest school district in Utica, but in every district throughout Southeast Michigan and the entire state.

“In the face of it all, the governor continues her go-it-alone approach, picking winners and losers regarding who can and can’t go back to work. She has ignored good faith efforts from the Legislature to develop a real plan to reopen our state’s economy. Every day that the governor orders businesses to remain closed, the School Aid Fund will continue losing vital funding for the education of our students. Just as the governor punished our job providers and workers through no fault of their own, so too is she threatening the academic success of our state’s bright and shining future.

“I encourage concerned residents to call Gov. Whitmer at 517-335-7858 and let her know.”