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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Budget Battle: Gop Budget Puts Million Dollars Less Toward New Redistricting Commission

Michigan Capitol
Reginald Hardwick
/
WKAR-MSU

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been presented a budget by the state Legislature, but one area where Whitmer might have an issue with the budget is the state’s new redistricting commission.

Last November, Michigan’s voters approved a ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission. That commission costs money, for example to pay the salaries of the board members. Whitmer’s budget proposal called for more than four million dollars for the commission – but the budget headed for her desk calls for less than that. The Republican-led Legislature sent her a budget that cuts her proposal by about a third.

“The Legislature is playing games,” said Jamie Lyons Eddy, director of campaigns and programs for Voters Not Politicians. That’s the group that was behind the original ballot proposal.

Lyons Eddy said this move would go against the will of the people because, “They expected a fully funded redistricting commission and this cuts the redistricting budget by over a million dollars.”

But Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield said the Legislature did what it was supposed to do.

“This is simply following the law, which what was required by the Legislature with what was put on the ballot,” he said.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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