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Politics & Government

Whitmer Wraps Up “Unusual Process” By Signing Budget

Michigan Executive Office of the Governor
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signs the 2021 state budget Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

The process for adopting a state budget this year was swift, secretive, and successful at getting a plan finalized just before the deadline. That allowed Governor Gretchen Whitmer to a $62.7 billion dollar state budget just before the new fiscal year begins Thursday.

The process was abbreviated and the negotiations were largely behind closed doors. But the governor cheered the fact that Democrats and Republicans worked together to adopt a budget on time.

“We developed a budget amidst a global pandemic, amidst all of these challenges, and it is a budget that will move Michigan forward,” she said. “And it was robustly supported in a bipartisan way, which in this current political climate is quite a feat.”

State Budget Director Chris Kolb said that was in large part due to federal assistance to help deal with the COVID emergency.

“Those stimulus checks helped. Those unemployment enhancement checks really helped,” he said.”And people utilized that to buy needed services around our state, and that boosted us on income taxes and sales taxes, and we need that type of stimulation again.”

Whitmer said she’s holding out hope Washington can come together on another COVID relief bill to help Michigan and other states with their fiscal challenges in the coming budget year.

Whitmer said she’s also pleased the budget does not cut funds for schools and local governments. The budget also includes money to help workers train for careers in skilled trades, and to help reduce African-American infant mortality.

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