Governor Gretchen Whitmer has drawn up a deal in Lansing to restore some of the vetoed state budget that would have impacted the Jewish community.
A deal is drawing near between the legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Lansing to restore some of the nearly $500 million Whitmer line-item vetoed from the state’s 2020 budget, including the $8 million appropriated to “multicultural integration funding.”
For the Jewish community, the impact would be about $2 million that is usually allocated to Jewish Family Service, JVS, Jewish Community Center, JARC, Kadima and Friendship Circle, according to David Kurzmann, senior director, community and donor relations at Federation.
According to Bridge magazine, the bills passed unanimously in the Senate and nearly unanimously in the House. The bills need to be reconciled between the chambers and then sent to the governor for her signature.
“While this does not restore all of the governor’s vetoes and transfers, it is a good first step in the right direction,” said Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas. “It is my hope this is the last time any of these programs are caught in the political crossfire.”
While Federation is “encouraged by the progress and optimistic about the restoration of the funding,” Kurzmann says, he won’t relax until the legislation is “over the finish line and signed by the governor.”
The legislature also moved two bills that would affect the budget process, according to Bridge: One to require the Legislature to send the budget to the governor by July 1 each year; the other to restrict the powers of the State Administrative Board, which Whitmer has said she is reluctant to do.
“The governor is pleased that the House and Senate each took initial action on a supplemental budget that will restore critical funding for public health, public safety and public education,” Whitmer’s spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said in a written statement. “This is an important, bipartisan step forward for our state to ensure we are providing essential services to Michigan families, and I am hopeful we can finalize it next week.”
According to Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, nearly $500 million left over from Whitmer’s cuts, including funding for the Pure Michigan campaign and the state’s roads, would likely be re-appropriated early next year.
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