On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued 147 line-item vetoes in the state budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, which began on October 1. While her utilizing vetoes was not a surprise, the high-number of those she red-lined was. In total, she vetoed nearly one-billion dollars in spending, including $375 million in one-time funds for infrastructure improvements.
The following day, the State Administrative Board approved the transfer of $576 million within the budgets, using over half of the funds from the line-item vetoes. The Board was created through public act in 1921. It has supervisory control over the administrative activities of departments and agencies. Members include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, and the director of the department of transportation. Former Governor John Engler is the only other governor to use the Board to transfer appropriated funds in this manner.
The governor left some funding unspent with the anticipation of working with the legislature to pass a supplemental spending bill. However, at this time, House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) have indicated they do not have plans to follow that route, especially in terms of restoring funding to programs that she line-item vetoed.
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