June 10, 2021
June 10, 2021
Lansing, Mich., June 10, 2021 – Earlier this week, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson held a press conference where she announced that her office would be adding 350,000 appointments between now and September 30th at SOS Offices across the state, without any additional funding.
Curiously, Benson had previously laid the blame for lack of appointments and increased wait times at the feet of the legislature. Benson claimed in her testimony to the House Oversight Committee earlier this month, that in order to increase the number of appointments and ultimately decrease wait times, the state would have to increase funding to the SOS. The chair of the House Oversight Committee, Representative Steve Johnson, is calling out Benson’s contradiction in her recent announcement.
The Detroit News reports:
Last week, House Republican leaders dismissed the request in part because of Benson’s decision to end walk-in appointments permanently…
Rep. Johnson said last week he was uninterested in “throwing more money” at the branch offices. On Tuesday, he doubled down on that stance.
“I find it interesting that Secretary Benson was able to increase appointments by 350,000 without any additional funding,” Johnson said in a statement.
Despite bipartisan calls to reinstate walk-in service at SOS offices, including in legislation which passed today overwhelmingly in the Senate, Benson has dug-in and refused.
“The fact that Benson made 350,000 appointments appear out of thin air shows that this is a failure in governing, not a lack of financial resources. These problems lay solely at the feet of Benson and her failed appointment only system,” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “Benson’s incompetence has led Michiganders to face skyrocketing wait times to complete vital but routine transactions, such as obtaining a license and receiving a handicap placard. Now more than ever, Benson must heed the calls of both Republicans and Democrats to relent on her failed appointment only system, and restore walk-in services at the branch offices.”