Edsel Ford House, Grand Rapids, a community center in Midland was among the beneficiaries
Among the beneficiaries of Michigan’s record $76 billion budget: a historic home in Grosse Pointe Shores and an amphitheater in Grand Rapids. In total, lawmakers gave $39.85 million in taxpayer money to various arts-related projects across the state.
Grand Rapids was awarded $30 million for an amphitheater project, which is expected to have a total cost of $116 million, according to WOOD-TV.
An unnamed theater in Jackson received $2.75 million. While this is likely Michigan’s historic theater, the budget line item doesn’t give any details.
The Midland Community Center received $5 million after receiving $6.5 million in the previous year’s budget.
The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores received $1.8 million in taxpayer dollars.
The organization’s website describes it this way: “Whether you love nature, art, history or design, you’ll find it here: Ford House is a home of stories waiting to be discovered.” Maison Ford did not respond to a request for comment.
Michigan Capitol Confidential has sought comment from various elected officials, including Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and committee members Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-North Muskegon, Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Niles and Senator John Bizon, R-Battle Creek. None of the managers responded.
James Hohman, director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center, says Michigan’s spending habits are unsustainable.
“The budget approved by the Michigan Legislature in late June increases spending of public funds by 7%,” Hohman wrote in a blog post. “If lawmakers were to limit themselves to population growth and state inflation, the state budget would have grown only 3.15 percent.”