As Critical State Funding Hangs In Balance, Michigan Lawmakers Go Hunting

Groups advocating on behalf of programs at risk of losing funding say lawmakers need to act, and quickly.

Lawmakers have left the state Capitol for a two-week break.

This is the time of year that the Legislature typically adjourns for the beginning of deer rifle hunting season and Thanksgiving. But this year is atypical in the sense that the state budget still hangs in the balance.

Click on the player above to hear MichMash hosts Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about the situation.

Earlier this fall, the Republican-led Legislature sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a budget the did not include many of the governor’s priorities, including a long-term comprehensive road funding solution. Whitmer signed the budget, but exercised her line-item veto power to the tune of about $1 billion, cutting funding for programs across the state. 

Now, many those programs are on the verge of running out of the money they have left over from the previous budget.

RELATED: How Whitmer’s (Nearly) Billion Dollar Budget Cuts Affect You

Legislative leaders have one meeting day on the schedule this week in case a deal materializes — but it seems unlikely at this point that they will actually come back to Lansing.

Groups advocating on behalf of programs at risk of losing funding say lawmakers need to act, and quickly.

“There really are far-reaching effects,” says Michigan League for Public Policy President & CEO Gilda Jacobs. “Some of the vetoes, unless they’re restored, are going to directly impact moms and kids, rural Michigan. The effects are real. They have to get their act together in order to stop those things from happening.”

The Legislature has three weeks scheduled in December before the end of 2020.

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  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.