Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers are starting the process of restoring some funding Whitmer vetoed in the new state budget.
The governor cut nearly $1 billion from the new state budget by using her line item veto powers. She had called the budgets “a mess” after talks broke down with Republican leaders over the summer.
Click on the player above to hear how Gov. Whitmer’s cuts affect you.
Leaders in the state House and Senate had signaled that they weren’t willing to come back to the negotiating table to restore those vetoes. State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said “the budget is done,” earlier this month.
However, that all changed recently. Republicans have now introduced bills to restore some of that funding. Democrats, on Whitmer’s behalf, have introduced their own bills.
That’s not entirely a surprise. The line item vetoes represent an outsized impact on rural areas of the state — where Republicans are more likely to hold power. And lobbying groups who traditionally support Republican candidates and causes are putting pressure on legislative leaders to negotiate.
- $16.6 million in rural hospital funding
- $13 million in sheriff department secondary road patrols which help communities put extra officers and equipment on the streets
- the entire Pure Michigan budget of $37.5 million
- $8.7 million for “payment in lieu of taxes” funding which pays local governments for state land in their area
- Funding for rural obstetrician clinics
- $7 million in funding that helps small and isolated school districts
When asked if her vetoes targeted rural areas, Whitmer said “that’s nonsense.”
Meanwhile, officials in more densely populated areas of the state say these line item vetoes have significant impacts on their communities as well. Those cuts could affect law enforcement, jails, childcare, environmental protections, veterans programs and more unless the funding is restored.
As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about how Michiganders are feeling the cuts throughout the state.