Budget fix bills head to gov’s desk

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    Two supplemental bills aimed at filling the state’s $2.2 billion budget hole for Fiscal Year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic successfully passed through the House and Senate Wednesday. 

    The bills, along with an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, use $350 million of the state’s $1.1 billion rainy day fund, federal COVID-19 relief money, cuts to a number of state agencies and state employee furloughs.

    The supplementals passed through the Senate with a 36-1 vote and through the House late Wednesday evening with a 104-0 vote. 

    Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) was the lone lawmaker to nix the budget deal, saying the bills rely too heavily on federal funds and may be “putting ourselves in a very difficult position for next year.”

    The bills will now be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed.

    Moving forward, the lawmakers will need to come up with a plan for Fiscal Year 2021, which begins Oct. 1 and is estimated to fall short by $3 billion. Whitmer must sign that budget by Sept. 30 to avoid a partial government shutdown. 

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.