The fog is clearing in Lansing around Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s 147 line-item vetoes in the state budget. Whitmer released the full list of x’d-out items late this morning.
Along with most of the extra money the Republican-led House and Senate earmarked for repair of four downstate highway bridges, the cuts include…
– the entire Pure Michigan tourism advertising campaign,
– several education budget computer programs that she described as “pork barrel spending.”
– and $234-million from the Department of Health and Human Services budget, including some increases in reimbursements for hospital charges.
The governor also declared as unenforceable the requirement that the State Attorney General appear before the legislature each time she sues the federal government, although she said that Dana Nessel would be happy to do it anyway.
Meanwhile, the State Administrative Board approved more than $600-million in transfers from one program to another within specific department budgets.
Perhaps the most significant move was in the Department of Education budget, where a booby-trap had been set up that would have taken away much of the department’s funding if it did not immediately start grading public school districts on an A-to-F scale.
Programs that have been cut are not necessarily gone. They could be brought back through the supplemental appropriation process, once the dollar amounts have been negotiated.