The Republican-controlled state Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal the state’s $1.9 billion “Bowie State Parks” program.
The bill now goes to Gov.
Eric Holcomb, who must sign it into law before July 1.
Democrats, meanwhile, have called on the governor to reject the repeal of the program, which provides grants to localities for a variety of activities, including recreation, sports and education.
The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
The program is one of several state parks that have been criticized for being too expensive, and critics say the Republican governor is ignoring them as he works to pass his fiscal year 2018 budget.
Under the state Parks program, grants were awarded to counties in May to build recreation facilities and facilities for the state.
But the program was cut last month by Holcomb in a budget deal with Democrats.
Republican lawmakers, including Holcomb and Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Detroit), have said that the program would cost the state about $1 billion a year, or $5.6 billion for the fiscal year beginning in April 2018.
Hoffman said the program provides the funds for the governor’s goal of “providing affordable, quality public access to the state parks.”
“We’re not giving them any money in return for our support,” Hoffman said.
Holcomb’s administration did not respond to a request for comment on the Republican-led bill.
State Rep. Brian Baugh, a Democrat who represents the western parts of Michigan, also criticized Holcomb’s decision to cut the program.
“I was shocked when the budget was presented,” Baugh said.
“I think the governor was being disingenuous.
He said that they’re going to cut $5 billion from the program and they’re not going to get rid of it.
Baugh also said he believes that the governor and his administration did a poor job communicating the state park system’s needs.
Baugh said the state is in dire financial straits, and the state has to invest more in recreation facilities.
He said Holcomb should work to restore the state program, not dismantle it.
“There is no reason to tear down the program,” Bough said.
“We have the state of Michigan to invest in,” he said.
Holcomb, in his veto message, noted that he is also responsible for overseeing the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which has been criticized in recent years for mismanagement of the state�s natural resources.
The program includes grants of up to $50,000 to locales that are willing to build new recreation facilities, or develop or maintain recreational facilities.
The state pays for the cost of the facility, including utilities, fencing, and other related costs.
Holcomb also has pledged to continue to support parks by awarding $100,000 grants to community groups for activities like hiking, camping, horseback riding and other outdoor activities.
Holcom’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This story has been updated to include a statement from the Michigan Democratic Party.