In a release dated October 1st, State Representative Julie Calley provided comment on some of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent line item vetoes to the 2020 state budget. Calley represents Barry County and portions of Ionia County, including the City of Portland.
The Governor also issued a release on September 30th regarding the vetoes.
Below you may find the text from both releases.
Release from Rep. Julie Calley
Rep. Calley: Governor rejects critical funding for roads, K-12 schools
Whitmer makes 147 line-item vetoes, targets funding for rural areas
Rep. Julie Calley today said she is troubled by Gov. Whitmer’s decision to veto parts of the Legislature’s budget, including $375 million in additional funding for road repairs and $128 million in additional funding for Michigan students.
“Everyone – including our governor – says they want better roads and better schools. The budget we put on the governor’s desk invested more in those priorities without raising taxes. It’s alarming that our governor would reject this plan,” said Calley, of Portland. “The people in our communities have been very clear about not being able to afford the governor’s gas tax hike. It’s our job as legislators to get the most value out of every dollar taxpayers provide. It’s what they expect and deserve.”
Late Monday, the governor issued 147 line-item vetoes to key programs in the Legislature’s plan, including hits to career and technical education, school safety grants, veterans’ services, specialty courts, rural health services and PFAS detection/remediation.
In particular, Calley said the governor’s veto of $13 million in secondary road patrol funding will hurt rural communities in Ionia and Barry counties. The program allowed sheriffs to hire additional personnel for road safety and improved response time for emergencies outside of cities and villages. Funding for secondary road patrol was cut entirely.
“While the governor might not see value in these programs, the members of our communities know how important they are – and they’re going to be disappointed,” Calley said. “These cuts come at a great cost to the health and safety of Michiganders.”
Release from Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Whitmer Signs Budgets, Improves with Line-Item Vetoes
LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed all 16 state budgets and issued 147 line-item vetoes to protect Michiganders public health and safety, access to healthcare and classroom spending for our children. Line-item vetoes to the School Aid budget alone exceed $128 million and include legislative pork barrel spending that steals precious classroom dollars and instead hands it out to commercial vendors. The governor also line-item vetoed $375 million in one-time road funding and remains ready to roll up her sleeves to achieve a real, long-term funding solution that will actually fix the damn roads.
“The Republican budgets were a complete mess, and today I used my executive powers to clean them up to protect Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer. “The state’s budget is a reflection of our values, and make no mistake that public health and safety, access to health care, and protecting classroom spending is more important than handouts to lobbyists and vendors.”
Republican budgets cut the following:
Republicans cut $185 million from the governor’s proposed School Aid Fund budget, including:
$60 million cut from special education,
$97 million cut to at-risk students,
$45 million cut to career and technical education students, and
$80 million cut from the Great Start Readiness Program, which provides preschool to low-income families in Michigan. Governor Whitmer’s proposed budget would have expanded access to pre-k for more than 5,000 Michigan kids.
Republicans cut $61.5 million to install hydration stations in Michigan schools to ensure every child has clean, safe drinking water.
Republicans cut $48 million from the Department of Corrections and unlawfully appropriates work projects to cover funding gaps.
These cuts would likely:
Prevent the opening of the new Vocational Village at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility and could threaten the closure of the two existing villages in the next fiscal year,
Lead to nearly 100 layoffs,
And would cease the monitoring of sex offenders and other criminals by not replacing 4,000 GPS tethers.
Republicans cut nearly $53 million from the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, including a cut to operations spending that would hurt Michiganders’ public safety, weaken cybersecurity, and force up to 150 layoffs.
Republicans cut $33 million to the Department of Health and Human Services from the governor’s proposal and failed to fund the implementation of their own work requirement laws that Governor Whitmer signed on September 23, potentially kicking tens of thousands of Michiganders off their health care and devastate families across the state.
“The legislature is broken. Talking point budgets don’t fix our fundamental problems as a state. The budgets they passed don't do enough to give our schools the resources they need to educate our kids,” said Governor Whitmer. “They won’t protect our communities, ensure clean, safe drinking water in our schools, and they won’t do a damn thing to fix the roads.”
“While line item vetoes can only clean up so much of this mess, additional steps will be needed to protect Michiganders, protect access to health care, and help close the skills gap, and it will take Republicans and Democrats working together to get it done.”