Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday signed fixes to Michigan’s current Fiscal Year 2020 budget after the COVID-19 pandemic cinched revenues.
The GOP-led Legislature passed supplemental budget legislation late last month. The bills close a $2.2 billion gap in the budget by tapping into $350 million of the state’s $1.1 billion rainy day fund, using federal COVID-19 relief money and issuing cuts to a number of state agencies and state employee furloughs.
Whitmer signed House Bill 5265, sponsored by House Appropriations Chair Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron); Senate Bill 145, sponsored by Sen. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo); and Senate Bill 373, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland).
“This bipartisan budget package will help protect critical funding for Michigan’s frontline workers, educators, and students, but our work isn’t done,” said Whitmer.
Legislative leaders and the governor still have to hammer out an agreement for the FY 2021 budget by Sept. 30 to avoid a partial government shutdown. Next year’s budget is running about $3 billion in the red.
Last week, Whitmer said at a news conference that the GOP-led U.S. Senate’s new coronavirus relief package needs to include aid to states, which are facing severe budget shortfalls during the pandemic. The Democratic-led U.S. House package, which passed in May, does include help for state and local governments. No deal has been struck yet in Washington.
“Now it’s time for President Trump and our leaders in Congress to follow Michigan’s lead and work together in a bipartisan manner to extend federal unemployment assistance and provide direct support to states like Michigan so we can maintain essential services like education, health care and public safety,” Whitmer said in a news release.