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Governor attacks Legislature for taking a "vacation" before finishing the state budget

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 18:23:58-04

LANSING MICH. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is criticizing the Republican-led Legislature for taking a "vacation" without a deal to fund state services or spend more to fix the roads.

The Democratic governor held a budget briefing with reporters Tuesday, as lawmakers began a two-month stretch in which session days are "tentative" only.

She says average people cannot go on vacation until their work is done.

Whitmer and Republicans are at odds over her plan that includes a 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase to improve roads and end "shell games" that limit education spending increases.

The House and Senate have passed different budget plans, but Whitmer says she's the only one to put a "complete and real solution on the table."

Republicans have said talks will continue regardless of whether all legislators are in Lansing.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said, "The Governor and the Majority Leader met today in the Majority Leader’s office. Senators are meeting this week as they continue to work on a roads plan. Holding a press conference to accuse the legislature of being on “vacation” is an old and tired political stunt."

House Speaker Lee Chatfield's spokesperson said, "The House and Senate Appropriations committees and leadership are working right now to resolve the differences between their two budgets. Once they do that, they will work with the governor to find a common ground. We might be further along on roads if we had received a realistic proposal from the governor at the beginning of the year. Her $2.5 billion tax hike on working families was a nonstarter, and so the House and Senate Republicans are taking their time to build the right plan instead of rushing a bad plan."

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