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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.

GOP Leaders Propose Limits On Exec Power As Part Of New Budget Deal

Michigan legislature

Republicans in the Legislature have proposed what they say is a first step toward restoring widely unpopular budget cuts. Many of the cuts were enacted by a board controlled by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

All GOP leaders want is to place new limits on her ability to do the same thing in the future. And Whitmer quickly responded with a “no.”

State Representative Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) says this legislation would help restore the balance of power between Michigan’s legislative and executive branches.

“I hope it is a piece to the puzzle that would solve this ongoing situation,” he said.

This group of bills would enact limits on how many dollars a board the governor controls can move money around within budgets without legislative approval.

At stake is funds for programs such as the Pure Michigan campaign, services for children with autism, and rural road patrols.

Tiffany Brown is the governor’s press secretary, and she says the bills are a non-starter.

“The governor has no interest in playing Republican games to grab power,” she said.

The State Administrative Board is made up of department directors appointed by the governor, as well as the attorney general and secretary of state. The board has a meeting scheduled to take place this week.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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