Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The state Senate today (Thu.) took steps toward restoring money to programs vetoed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year. The budget bills are supposed to be approved by the House and the Senate and sent to the governor’s desk next week.

The Senate actions are a step toward restoring a working relationship between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s Republican leaders following a contentious budget process. The standoff put money for autism services, charter schools and public safety at risk.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The Republican-led Legislature has passed legislation that would restore more than half of the proposed spending that was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The votes are a sign that Michigan's budget impasse may soon end.

The Senate and House approved bills Wednesday to reverse some of Whitmer's line-item vetoes and fund transfers. Negotiations continue on curbing the powers of the State Administrative Board.

Both sides are optimistic a final deal could be reached next week.

Photo of MI Governor Gretchen Whitmer wearing a red suit standing at a podium
Governor Gretchen Whitmer

  No progress was made toward resolving a monthslong budget impasse over the Legislature’s multi-week break, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday, adding that a top Republican lawmaker’s criticism of her could impede efforts to find common ground.

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A budget impasse in Michigan is starting to take a toll on government programs and services.

Sheriff's offices, jails, charter schools, private colleges, hospitals, local governments and nonprofits are casualties of the standoff that has dragged on much longer than expected.

Nearly two months ago, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed an unprecedented $947 million in funding to restart broken-down budget talks.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Michigan Legislature

A budget standoff between the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is unlikely to be resolved until December at the earliest.

The Michigan House won't convene for voting Wednesday. It began a three-week hunting and Thanksgiving break last week but had left open the possibility of meeting Wednesday if a deal was in reach.

The Senate will meet Wednesday before taking two weeks off. The House could return for a day next week if an agreement is struck, though the sides don't seem optimistic.

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Courtesy photo / LinkedIn.com

MiBiz is taking a closer look at the impacts of Michigan's opioid crisis. More employers  are demanding health plan cost shopping tools. Also, local tourism groups are asking the governor and legislature to maintain Pure Michigan funding.

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The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has given final approval to a K-12 schools budget.

The legislation was approved 91-18 by the House and 21-17 by the Senate on Thursday. Legislators directed an additional $30 million toward special education, above what was in legislation that cleared a panel last week.

The minimum per-student grant would increase from $7, 871 to $8,111, a $240, or 3%, increase. Districts at the higher end would get $8,529, or $120 more than the current $8,409 allotment - a 1.4% bump.

picture of State Capitol

Michigan's 48,000 state government workers have been notified of potential temporary layoffs in case the next budget is not enacted before Oct. 1.

Budget director Chris Kolb and department directors emailed employees Monday.

About 30,000, or 62%, of state workers would be temporarily laid off. The rest would be deemed as essential to protecting the health and safety of residents and continue working.

They include prison guards, state troopers, child protective services caseworkers and others.

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A recent state-wide poll indicates Michigan voters prefer any road funding budget not come at the expense of education and teacher retirement pensions.

As Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature negotiate increasing road and bridge repair funding, a survey by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA indicates 77 percent of Michigan voters say it’s important teachers and their retirement pensions be protected from any budget deal.

picture of State Capitol

Republican legislative leaders have agreed to a budget framework and intend to begin passing bills despite not reaching a road-funding deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says target spending levels were sent to the leaders of budget panels Thursday. Details need to hashed out by conference committees that are expected to vote next week.

The budget deadline is Oct. 1.