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Whitmer's budget chief, state lawmakers announce deal

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget chief and the Legislature’s Republican appropriations chairs announced they’re close to a final budget deal before the October 1 deadline.

The deal – if it holds – means the governor and the Legislature can close the books on this budget with relatively modest cuts compared to a much grimmer fiscal picture presented earlier this year.

But there will still be cuts due to COVID-19-related revenue losses. In a joint statement, Budget Director Chris Kolb, House Appropriations Chair Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron), and Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland) said the deal includes sustaining existing state aid to K-12 schools and local revenue sharing payments.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our state budget and by very quickly working together since receiving the August revenue estimates, we’ve been able to build a budget framework that reflects a bipartisan commitment to moving our state forward,” said Kolb as part of the joint statement.

“This has been a year unlike any other,” said Stamas. “…This agreement means a fiscally responsible budget will be in place in time for the new fiscal year.”  

“Even in these most challenging of times, we are coming together to protect the top priorities of Michiganders – including students and schools and the essential local services people across the state rely on every day.” 

There are still many details to be worked out before planned votes next week in the House and the Senate. The bills will then be presented to Governor Whitmer, who has line-item veto power.

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