Bumstead votes to restore Whitmer vetoes

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Jon Bumstead on Wednesday joined his colleagues in voting to restore several of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vetoes — many of which negatively impacted communities across the 34th Senate District.

“The action taken by the Legislature today gives the governor an opportunity to restore crucial funding that her October vetoes removed from schools and programs throughout my district and from communities throughout the state,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “Schools have started without state payments, sheriff’s departments are preparing for layoffs, and foster programs face closing their doors.

“I understand we have our differences, but many of the things she vetoed were common-ground, agreeable issues. The legislation passed today gives her an opportunity to correct the unfortunate situation we currently find ourselves in.”

Senate Bills 376 and 377 would restore a total of $573.5 million of the governor’s vetoed funding and administrative funding transfers. The legislation largely focuses on restoring funding to the most critical state services.

The bills would restore funding to treat Alzheimer’s, autism, and opioid addiction. Cuts to local police departments and rural and critical care hospitals would also be restored and charter and rural schools would receive the payments they were expecting.

“The governor cut $35 million from schools in Muskegon County and across the state — a move that drastically compromised education in Michigan,” Bumstead said. “Muskegon Heights and other public charter schools would see their foundation allowance increase restored under the Senate’s plan.”

Bumstead said he was admittedly frustrated at having to revisit these issues a third time, but there was too much at stake to do nothing.

“We sent the governor a responsible budget in the spring, so we could get it done early like we’ve done for nearly a decade. We revisited the budget a second time to avoid a government shutdown. We’re now facing the end of 2019 and we’re still at the table trying to restore funding that has left schools, local governments, college students and other residents in limbo,” Bumstead said. “While this does not restore all of the governor’s vetoes and transfers, it is a significant step in the right direction. I hope she joins us in doing what’s best for Michigan.”

The Senate also approved measures that would limit state administrative board transfers and set in statute a target deadline of July 1 for the Legislature to present a budget to the governor.

All four bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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