Whitmer: Budget deal was close before Senate walked away

Nov 8, 2019

  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says a deal was close to restore many millions of dollars in budget cuts when state Senate Republicans walked away from the negotiations. The sticking point appears to be adopting limits on the governor’s ability to move money around within the budget without legislative approval.

The governor and state House Republicans were close to a bargain. It would restore funds to  help pregnant women, for law enforcement, and for schools in low-income areas, among other things. The money was vetoed by the governor as part of a budget dispute with Republicans that’s still not settled.

Republican Senate leader Mike Shirkey says he doesn’t trust the governor won’t do that again, and wants to enact new restrictions on the governor’s budget authority. Whitmer says she’s not buying it.

“I think it’s just rhetoric," Whitmer said. "I think it’s unfortunate they let their emotions get the better of them, and I think it’s really important that we stay focused on the task at hand.”

Time is growing short, but the House and the Senate have both scheduled days to meet next week, when they could vote on a new budget deal.