Legislative Update – 10/04/2019

As predicted, this week turned out to be full of political drama surrounding Governor Whitmer’s actions Monday night utilizing her line-item veto authority 147 times throughout various state budgets sent to her from the GOP-led Legislature, with those vetoes amounting to $957 billion. Additionally, the Governor convened the State Administrative Board Tuesday morning to reallocate $625 million within 13 state departments, a rare exercise of administrative authority that has not been utilized since the Engler Administration and frankly has never been utilized to such a degree.
Obviously, Republican leaders and membership largely condemned the actions taken by the Governor, though a few conservative Republicans actually spoke out in favor of a Democratic Governor cutting spending. At this point the messaging from both sides criticizing the other is raging fast and furious, especially on social media, so it appears it will be a while before both sides are able to sit back down to work on resolving lingering budgetary disputes. The strategy on the part of the Governor is to bring Republican Leaders back to the table to negotiate over what was vetoed and where budgetary priorities of each side can be restored. However, Republican leadership at this point appears content to move on to policy issues and consider the budget over and done with, with a strategy of laying the blame for various budget cuts on the Governor.
Attached is a list of the items Governor Whitmer vetoed in School Aid and throughout various state Departments. While there are various priorities on this list that we would like to address, the budget was completed without a shutdown. We will re-engage going forward on individual budgetary items of our concern at the appropriate time in the near future.