Michigan state budget deadline looms tonight -- follow updates here

Governor says there won't be a government shutdown

LANSING, Mich. – All eyes will be on Lansing as a midnight budget deadlines looms Monday.

Late last week Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office said there will be no government shutdown in Michigan.

This means Whitmer may decide to use her line-item veto on some items before the deadline at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Whitmer's office explained in a letter Friday that there will be no government shutdown. Here is the full letter:

"With just a couple of days left before the start of the new fiscal year, the Legislature has now presented the Governor with all the budgets. Therefore, planning and preparation for a potential state government shutdown can now stop.

"The notice of temporary layoff provided last week is rescinded. There will be no temporary layoffs beginning at 12:01 AM on October 1 as a result of a government shutdown. You should report for work at your regularly scheduled time.

"This has been an extremely challenging budget cycle. The Governor and the State Budget Office staff will be working around the clock this weekend to finish getting all the budgets ready. The Governor will be exercising the powers that she can to get our budget into the best possible shape with what has been presented.

"Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during what has been a very uncertain process. I know this did not make the important work that you do any easier. "I appreciate everything that you do for the department and for the people of Michigan. It is a privilege to serve with you."

Again, the deadline to sign the nearly $60 billion budget is Monday at midnight (12:01 a.m. Tuesday). Whitmer had expressed, and was very vocal, with her concerns about a shutdown up until the end of last week.

"I don't view a shutdown as a game. I don't view it as something that is just a leverage point. I view it as something that's very serious that would have ramifications for our state," she said on Sept. 9.

The governor criticized Republicans for proposing to shift $400 million in discretionary general funds to roads and bridges. She said it would not provide nearly enough funding, and Democrats say it would reduce spending on universities, community colleges, prisons, IT upgrades and other functions -- potentially leading to permanent layoffs.

Republican lawmakers said their plan would prevent Whitmer's proposed 45-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax increase and spend a record amount on roads, albeit far less than what experts say is needed. Republican leaders have pledged to again discuss a permanent revenue stream for roads and bridges following enactment of the budget.

Follow budget deal updates here:


About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.