Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer described her plan for a supplemental budget Wednesday with the hopes of working with Republicans to try and restore certain items cut from the budget.
In total, she vetoed 147 items equalling almost $1 billion from the Republican-proposed budget. In Whitmer’s approved budget, funds the governor left out include $128 million in the school budget aid, $38 million in college tuition grants $375 million in general funds to fix the state’s roads and bridges and funds for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Whitmer’s supplemental budget would reverse Michigan Department of Corrections cuts, sufficiently fund the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public’s health and safety, improve funds for literacy coaches, and supply money for the Michigan Reconnect Program. She did not give an exact figure on how much this budget would cost.
She told reporters yesterday that she wants to work with Republicans to find “some common ground” and admitted she can only clean up so much by herself, the Free Press reported. After passing the budget, Whitmer called the budget the GOP leaders sent her a “mess” and blamed them for taking time off in the summer rather than focusing on budget talks.
The first-term governor is scheduled to meet with Michigan House Speaker House Lee Chatfield and Michigan Senate-Majority Leader Mike Shirkey today.
Shirkey told the Detroit News yesterday that the budget is done and that he is moving on to other legislative priorities. On Tuesday, Shirkey issued a statement saying he was in “no rush” to address the budget.
“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.”
Chatfield also issued similar sentiment calling the way budget negotiations deadlock “silly and avoidable.”
Michigan GOP Chairman Laura Cox released a statement after Whitmer passed the budget Monday night.
“Tonight, Governor Whitmer showed that she is willing to use the people of Michigan as pawns in her fight for higher taxes and bigger government. Whitmer governs with such reckless abandon that she needed a ‘do over’ after cutting critical funding for education and health services by mistake. Gas Tax Gretchen is clearly more interested in raising taxes than fixing a single mile of our state’s crumbling roads, and she’s willing to throw the people of Michigan under the bus to get her way.”
— Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) October 1, 2019
On the other hand, Michigan Democrats defended Whitmer’s actions on Twitter Tuesday.
“For the past eight years, Republicans have consistently passed talking point budgets aimed at hoodwinking Michiganders about the state of our infrastructure and our schools. Those days are over on @GovWhitmer’s watch.”
For the past eight years, Republicans have consistently passed talking point budgets aimed at hoodwinking Michiganders about the state of our infrastructure and our schools. Those days are over on @GovWhitmer's watch. #MIBudget #MIGov https://t.co/JpdAnI3cQv
— Michigan Democrats (@MichiganDems) October 1, 2019
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