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Whitmer asks Legislature to pass supplemental budget

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Posted at 3:55 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 15:55:55-04

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she will ask the Republican-led Legislature to pass a supplemental measure to mend Michigan's budget after she vetoed nearly $1 billion in proposed spending.

The Democrat said Wednesday the $59 billion plan, which took effect Tuesday, must still be revised after her line-item vetoes and fund transfers.

She is proposing to add funding to three departments she says is needed to protect public health and safety.

She also wants to triple the number of literacy coaches and to fund tuition-free community college or technical training for nontraditional students age 25 and older.

Whitmer says the budget measure could include other priorities Republicans "may be interested in chatting about" following her vetoes.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued 147 line-item vetoes Monday.

The education and transportation budgets saw the most changes.

Governor Whitmer cut $375 million in one-time road funding saying it doesn't fix the fundamental problem.

"I remain eager to have a conversation with anyone who's serious about fixing the problem. The fact of the matter is this budget, this one-time 400 million dollars that fixes four bridges and 39 miles is not serious," she said.

One of the more controversial cuts came to the Pure Michigan campaign which was scrapped entirely.

"I'm always going to put public safety, like the tethers that we need to monitor in the state police budget, ahead of any ad campaign," the governor said.

The governor said there were no real negotiations throughout the budget process.

"They came with ultimatums. That's not a negotiation. They said well if you don't accept our terms we're going to send you budgets and I said go ahead and send them. I'll use all of my tools to clean them up when you do and that's why today's action should not be a surprise to anyone in this town," she said.

'I used my executive power to protect Michiganders public health, safety, access to health care and classroom spending

She said that she has invited leaders to a meeting on Thursday.

She said that all need to get back to the table and negotiate.

Speaker of the House, Lee Chatfield, said that they are open to having ongoing conversations.

"That was our room at three weeks ago when the governor agreed to table long-term discussions on roads," he said. "Then you saw her veto record funding because it wasn’t a long-term fix. It’s really difficult right now to negotiate with someone who can’t make up her mind."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the state budget Monday hours before the deadline to fund government, while using line-item vetoes to block nearly $1 billion in spending proposed by the Republican-led Legislature.

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