Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP legislative leaders still haven’t struck a budget deal, with education and infrastructure as the major sticking points, and 48,000 state employees have received temporary layoff notices if the government partially shuts down on Oct. 1.
On Tuesday, the governor sent a letter asking State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) for Fiscal Year 2020 budget bills on her desk before they leave for a “weekend getaway” on Mackinac Island.
The Michigan Republican Party is holding its biennial conference at the Grand Hotel starting Saturday, with Vice President Mike Pence and several GOP figures set to speak.
Whitmer’s missive, which she released to some media, acerbically noted the GOP-led Legislature’s “two-month long vacation.”
“I am writing to respectfully ask that prior to socializing with Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Haley Barbour, you complete all of the necessary work to get your budgets passed and sent to me with time for my team and me to review them and get them signed by September 30th.”
Whitmer acerbically continued, “As you may know, executing budgets is a lengthy and complicated task,” but noted she needs time to do so.
GOP-controlled conference committees passed out six department budgets last week and more are scheduled for Thursday. Shirkey told the Associated Press that there’s plenty of time for the governor to review the conference reports, but the Legislature won’t be passing budgets until next week.
“Quite frankly, I think our personal impasse that we are at on this budget right now is silly,” Chatfield said Tuesday. “And I think it’s time for people in this town to step up, show some real leadership and negotiate in good faith.”