Michigan House Republicans
Carra calls for truth-in-labeling law for taxpayer-funded services
RELEASE|March 20, 2024
Contact: Steve Carra

Don’t say free. Say taxpayer funded.

State Rep. Steve Carra wants a truth-in-labeling law for services provided by the government.

The southwest Michigan lawmaker on Wednesday introduced legislation that would require state and local units of government to accurately describe funding sources by preventing the use of the word “free.”

“Saying ‘free’ is misleading. The term ‘taxpayer funded’ is better because it’s more accurate,” said Carra, R-Three Rivers. “It also shows respect and gratitude to the people who paid for the service.”

House Bill 5617 would prevent state and local governments that offer a service without charge from promoting it by using the word “free.” The term “taxpayer funded” would be used instead.

“Politicians love to promise free stuff, but words matter. This is a good way of reminding people that everything has a cost, and that someone is paying for it,” Carra said. “Hopefully, that results in politicians being more careful how they spend other people’s money.”

Carra pointed out that a key part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is choosing the right words in order to see situations more accurately and break unhealthy patterns.

More than half of the Republican caucus signed on to the bill; zero Democrat lawmakers signed on.

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