press release


News from Progress Michigan

February 8, 2017

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Progress Michigan: Defund Governor Snyder’s Office Budget Until Snyder Pays His Own Legal Defense

Governor Snyder has used public funds for private defense while asking others to take cuts 

LANSING — As Governor Rick Snyder lays out his seventh budget proposal, Progress Michigan is calling on the legislature to defund the Governor’s office until Snyder reimburses the state for his personal Flint Water Crisis legal fees that he unilaterally took from public coffers and promises to pay all of his legal fees going forward.

“Schools are closing, the Governor is looking at cutting pensions for retirees, the people of Flint are still without clean water and our roads are still a mess, yet there seems to be unlimited money when it comes to paying Rick Snyder’s lawyers,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Snyder using public dollars for his private legal fees while the rest of us face cuts speaks to the governing culture of Republicans in Lansing: there’s always enough money for themselves and their corporate donors — but never enough for the people and the public services we all rely on.”

Last year, Gov. Snyder proposed an office budget of $5.6 million. The budget is only for his personal office and not for essential government services provided by the departments of the executive branch. In the meantime, Rick Snyder, in his own personal defense, has used public dollars to pay his lawyers nearly $5 million.

“Elected officials have an obligation to ensure that government is working on behalf of all of the people. By stripping Gov. Snyder of his office budget, the legislature would send a clear message that no one is above the law,” Scott continued. “The legislature should do the right thing by ending Snyder’s use of public funds for private legal defense and force him to reimburse the public and pay his own legal funds moving forward. Snyder is a millionaire — he can afford it — but we cannot afford more of these raids on our communities.”


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