'We're the hostage in this situation:' Oakland County sheriff says of Gov. Whitmer's budget vetoes

Vetoes part of a strategy for road fix

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

PONTIAC, Mich. - We're seeing more fallout from the unprecedented 147 line-item vetoes Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used on the budgets presented to her by the Republican-led Legislature.

She used her line-item veto power and cut nearly $1 billion out of the budget.

Her line-item vetoes included nixing $375 million for roads, which means it's back to the drawing board for Whitmer and the Legislature.

"We're the hostage in this situation, and she shot the hostage. It's still concerning to me how we became part of this back and forth," Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said, referring to the back and forth between Whitmer and the Legislature.

County sheriffs find their operations impacted by the vetoes because the governor nixed money for secondary road patrols, reimbursement for jailing state prisoners and training.

The vetoes are part of a strategy to force the Legislature to wheel and deal on a roads fix, among other hot button funding issues.

"How the police of this whole state got dragged into 'fix the roads' is still kind of curious to me. I don't see that," Bouchard said.

So far, GOP leadership said it is in no hurry to have discussions on supplementing state budgets to roll back Whitmer's vetoes. For now, that means a stalemate in Lansing. Which means counties will have to scramble to figure out what to do in the interim.

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