Despite Criticism, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Defends Her Budget Cuts

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended her decision to almost $1 billion from the $59.9 billion budget and moving around $625 million in the budget to different state departments on Tuesday.

“I do not relish using these powers but they were absolutely necessary because the budgets they sent were fatally flawed,” Whitmer said in a press conference.

Some of the 147 items the governor cut from the budget include the Pure Michigan Tourism Campaign, $128 million in the school budget aid, $38 million in college tuition grants and $375 million in general funds to fix the state’s roads and bridges.

Whitmer explained her reasoning to the budget cuts on Twitter.

“Yesterday, I line-item vetoed 147 items from the budgets sent to me by the legislature. They. Were. A. Mess. Here’s the thing – I don’t relish using these abilities, but I’m not afraid to use every tool in my toolbox to protect our public safety, health care, and cyber security.

Also, she blamed Republicans for taking the summer off and sending her the proposed budget just 84 hours before the deadline.

“I was elected because of my commitment to find real, long-term solutions to the problems our state is facing, and I won’t allow Michiganders to be duped by Republican talking points and years-old rhetoric,” she tweeted.

However, Michigan’s Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield saw the budget impasse differently calling it “silly and avoidable.”

“Now that the governor’s shutdown threat has been shown to be simply empty words, the cameras will stop rolling & headlines will move on. Hopefully that means she will finally come back to the negotiating table and get back to work,” he tweeted.

Even though Whitmer has signed the budget, she does not consider it a done deal and wants to start up another round of budget talks with Republicans Thursday. However, Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey is remaining patient.

“My Governor has used her red pen to exact 147 vetoes and eliminate nearly a billion dollars from the state budget. She has taken extraordinary measures to further rearrange the budget through the state administrative board. We now know my Governor’s fiscal plan for Michigan.”

He also added, “The Senate will continue to partner with our colleagues across the aisle and in the House to pass bipartisan policies that benefit all Michiganders. We are in no rush to participate in Governor Whitmer’s ‘tug of war’.”

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State NewsFollow Zachery on Twitter.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer. 

 

 

 

 

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  1. […] Last week, Whitmer eliminated $38 million in college tuition grants from the state budget part of which would have gone to the Michigan Tuition Grant. […]

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  3. […] Last week, Whitmer vetoed 147 items totally nearly $1 billion from the Republican’s proposed $59.9 billion budget. She told Michigan Radio Monday that it wasn’t too late to restore some of the budget’s vetoed items. […]

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