LANSING – The months of nail-biting and worry among those affected by a budget standoff between Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders might finally be coming to an end.
Negotiations between Ms. Whitmer, House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) gained enough momentum Wednesday that the House and Senate quickly and overwhelmingly passed two identical supplemental appropriations bills to restore some of the $947 million in line-item vetoes Ms. Whitmer made to the 2019-20 fiscal year budget and many of the millions in cuts the governor imposed via State Administrative Board transfers. Those supplementals also include funding for many of Ms. Whitmer’s priorities that was not part of the 2019-20 fiscal year budget bills the Legislature sent to Ms. Whitmer in September without her input that prompted her veto and transfer spree.
Further, the House and Senate passed identical shell bills (SB 616, HB 5176) that will eventually contain a yet to be finalized change to the State Administrative Board, as well as identical bills that would require the Legislature to send a budget to the governor by July 1 (SB 618, HB 5177).
The supplemental for departments and agencies (SB 376, SB 152) contains $459 million ($257 million General Fund). It restores funding to 27 of the 147 items Ms. Whitmer vetoed. The school aid supplemental (SB 377, SB 154) contains $114.5 million ($70.2 million School Aid Fund, $3.9 million General Fund).
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