Just before the October 1 deadline, Governor Whitmer signed her first state budget. It was balanced and on time. To the surprise of many, however, the Governor used her red pen to issue 147 line-item vetoes, totaling more than $900 million.
Some of those vetoes raise major concerns for the business community, including cutting $375 million targeted at road and bridge repairs, $37 million for a skilled trades training program (Going PRO Talent Fund), and $37.5 million for the state’s hugely successful Pure Michigan campaign.
The Governor has said, “This is not the end of the conversation.” She has suggested her vetoes were intended to force lawmakers to the table for further negotiations. However, many individuals and groups view the vetoes as unnecessary, unwise and overtly political.
Although it’s unclear where the issue will go from here, one thing is certain: Tensions between the Governor and lawmakers are high, meaning a quick resolution is unlikely.
The Michigan Chamber will be closely monitoring this issue. We believe it is time for Governor Whitmer and legislative leaders to move on to other important issues, like revisiting the road funding debate and other legislative priorities. If state lawmakers and the Governor cannot find consensus on any of these items, the Michigan Chamber will be advocating for legislative leaders to adjourn for the year.
In this week's Michigan Chamber Business Brief radio segment, Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley offers his assessment of what happened with the state budget and what needs to happen to move our state forward. Listen Now.