Whitmer signs $29M in additional spending for Census, clergy probe

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Monday authorizing almost $30 million in supplemental spending for Michigan this current fiscal year.

    Senate Bill 150, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland), was passed earlier in June by the Michigan Legislature. 

    It includes a total of $28.8 million in gross spending for fiscal year 2019 on projects like the Census, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s clergy abuse investigation, and implementation of both the state’s new recreational marijuana laws and measures that will ease voter registration under the recently passed Proposal 3 initiative.

    Wrongfully convicted, Catholic clergy probe funded in 2019 supplemental budget

    In a statement, Whitmer said the bill “provides critical funding that will expand access to voting, ensure a full and accurate count in the 2020 Census, and help provide clean drinking water to Michigan residents,” referring to $3 million it appropriates for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement changes to the state’s lead and copper rules. 

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the Detroit Regional Chamber 2019 Conference | Ken Coleman

    The bill also includes a line-item veto of a section that ordered the state’s Auditor General to examine the implementation of new rules around automatic voter registration and absentee voting, arguing that such an audit can only be conducted after the conclusion of the fiscal year.

    “I applaud the Legislature’s desire to hold the departments, including the Secretary of State, accountable to the people. Nevertheless, the Auditor General may only conduct an audit at the constitutionally appropriate time,” Whitmer said in a statement.

    The governor also advised the Legislature that “there’s no reason why the bipartisan work that went into passing this supplemental shouldn’t carry over into passing the full 2020 budget.” The Legislature isn’t expected to hold any votes until after the July 4 holiday, but negotiations between Whitmer and GOP legislative leaders over the fiscal year 2020 budget are supposed to be taking place.

    The deadline for that budget is Sept. 30.

    Derek Robertson
    Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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