A House Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday approved a bill that would allocate public funds to “strengthen the integrity of elections” and to help the Legislature defend a 1931 state law that makes abortion a crime.
Rep. Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores), chairman of the House Appropriations General Government Subcommittee, is the sponsor of House Bill 5783. The FY2023 General Government Budget is now before the full House Appropriations Committee. Michigan’s new fiscal year begins October 1.
The bill includes the creation of a $10 million fund to replace outdated election materials and another investment of $10 million to train election workers and update voters lists.
The Republican plan also includes funds to conduct a study to examine Michigan’s voter audit system compared to other states.
Since the 2020 election, many Republicans, both in Michigan and nationally, have spread debunked conspiracies that former President Donald Trump won, even as he lost to President Joe Biden — and by more than 154,000 votes in Michigan.
Across Michigan, more than 250 state and local audits have confirmed the accuracy and integrity of Michigan’s election, and none have revealed evidence of widespread voter fraud. A 2021 Senate Oversight Committee report also found no evidence of voter fraud.
“These are all necessary steps to give citizens confidence in the future of elections,” VanWoerkom said in a statement Tuesday.
The budget plan also includes $750,000 for the legislature to “defend the constitutionality of state laws.”
VanWoerkom said that “may become necessary if Attorney General Dana Nessel keeps his promise not to enforce a Michigan law banning abortion if a U.S. Supreme Court ruling affects Roe vs. Wade.”
The future of the landmark 1973 ruling, which declared abortion a constitutional right, is currently uncertain as the country waits for the Supreme Court to rule on another abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Yes roe deer is overturned, Michigan would fall back on a 1931 law that prohibits abortions in the state in all circumstances except to protect the life of the mother.
Nessel swore she would not defend the state’s 1931 law. She also faces a family planning lawsuit that seeks an immediate court order restraining the attorney general from doing so.
Originally published by Michigan Advance. It has been republished with permission.
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