Gov. Whitmer signs supplemental budget

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Funding for a variety of state services once vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been restored as she signed a supplemental budget Friday morning.

The deal to restore funding that the governor vetoed after she and the legislators could not negotiate a budget deal was reached in the final days of the legislative session earlier in December.

Legislators said the governor walked away from the table while Whitmer complained legislators weren’t “serious.”

When lawmakers delivered the plan, Whitmer slashed nearly $1 billion in spending and used an administrative board to take the unusual step of moving other money appropriated by the legislature for other uses. Now some of that has been put back in place.

The Michigan Department of Corrections will get $45 million to help monitor prisoners who have been paroled but are still under supervision. Almost $20 million will go to clean water programs. Education and public safety will also have funding for certain programs restored.

Related to adjusting the governor’s ability to use the State Administrative Board, legislation included in the deal will require the legislature to have a budget done by July 1 of every year. That date that marks the beginning of the fiscal year for schools and is two months before the state’s spending year begins.

“The fact of the matter is that in these final rounds of negotiations, we all agreed that budgets are going to get to my desk by July 1,” Whitmer said. “It’ll be a vast improvement for schools and it’s something that I think we had to write into law because even though that happened the last eight years, when one party controls everything, it’s a lot easier to make sure that that gets done. We want to make sure that no matter who’s in the governor’s office or who controls the legislature that the people of Michigan remain the top priority.”

Whitmer also signed online gaming legislation that includes sports betting. Similar bills have been circulating in Lansing for the last five years. Whitmer and the legislature finally found agreement on how taxes would be used from such gambling and finalized the bill earlier this month.

As a program note, Gov. Whitmer will talk about her first year in office and Vice President Mike Pence will talk about impeachment and a new trade deal this Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on WOOD TV8 on “To The Point.”