Political tug-of-war continues to affect state budget and Michigan residents

MARQUETTE COUNTY –Many County sheriffs, small schools, local governments and other groups in the U.P. and the rest of the state of Michigan are concerned with state funding cuts.

A possible deal to end an impasse over the 2020 budget and restore hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to a wide range of programs fell through recently. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R–Clarklake, on Thursday rejected a potential budget deal negotiated between Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R–Levering.

The deal fell apart over the same issue that has separated Whitmer and GOP leaders for the last six weeks — demands that Whitmer formally restrict her powers. These powers involve shifting funds within state agencies without legislative approval.

Whitmer has repeatedly said she will not sign a bill that limits her powers or those of future governors. Now concerns are rising from everyone in the Upper Peninsula and the representatives that represent districts in the peninsula.

Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, representing the 109th District also commented on the tug of war politics that continues to be done and that is not helping anyone in the state.

“It’s a sad day today. As legislators leave for a three week break, we do so without an updated budget that restores necessary funding for our rural schools, hospitals, local governments, veterans, law enforcement agencies and other critical areas,” stated Cambensy. “We said we didn’t want to be like Washington where nothing gets done. Drafting and passing a supplemental budget bill was the most important task we had to accomplish this week and both sides, both parties failed our local residents.”

The GOP leader however, wanted Whitmer to sign a stand–alone bill that would explicitly cap or curb the governor’s powers to shift funds through rarely used State Administrative Board powers which led to no solution being found.