Michigan Republicans attempt to ban trans athletes through school budget

Michigan State Capitol (Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay)

By Allison R. Donahue, Michigan Advance

State Republicans are taking another shot at excluding transgender athletes from school sports. After attempting to do so through a Senate bill, now they’re trying to use the state budget. 

The GOP-led House Appropriations Committee on Thursday adopted a $19.9 billion School Aid Budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 that includes language prohibiting “boys from competing in girls’ athletic activities.”

House Bill 5795, introduced by Brad Paquette (R-Niles), was approved by the committee among party lines. 

If a school district were to violate this provision, they would lose a portion of their state funding. 

The Senate’s School Aid recommendation proposes $17.8 billion for schools. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed $18.4 billion for schools in fiscal year 2023.

Whitmer is unable to veto the anti-trans boilerplate language on its own, so she would have to veto the entire budget if this remains in the final bill. 

Senate Bill 218, introduced by Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton), would ban transgender athletes from participating in school sports, but that bill has not gone up for a vote yet. Whitmer is likely to veto the bill if it ever ends up on her desk. 

The House’s 2023 Fiscal Year School Aid budget proposal now advances to the full House for a vote. Michigan’s new budget year starts Oct. 1.

The GOP-led Senate has a slew of budget bills on its agenda for Tuesday.