Possible State Budget Breakthrough Offers Hope of Ending Year on Bipartisan Note

A week ago, it seemed like partisan tensions could not have been higher. A few days later, much has changed.

The year could end on a bipartisan note after all at the state Capitol.

That seemed unlikely, to say the least, after talks broke down on the state budget and roads, and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) publicly said Gov. Whitmer and legislative Democrats were on the “bats–t crazy spectrum.”

But despite it all, the Republican-led Legislature and Whitmer are now taking steps to restore funding the governor vetoed in the new state budget.

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

So what changed? 

The state Senate last week approved bills to restore much of the funding cut earlier this year. The House still needs to vote on those bills.

However, Republicans also seem to be taking steps toward trying to limit the governor’s powers to move money around in the budget without legislative approval. That threat looming in the background could be an important caveat to talks of partisan rancor thawing in December.

Meanwhile, on a more personal side of the political equation, Gov. Whitmer seemed to let bygones be bygones with Sen. Shirkey by sending him this cake on his 65th birthday last week:


  • 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.