Skubick: Talks continue over state budget

Local News

They met.  They talked. And the governor says that’s a good thing.  

The issue is restoring some of the budget cuts the governor made.

“All I’m going to say is we met today and we’re going to meet again next Tuesday,” said Gov. Whitmer.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was late for this National Guard ceremony to send these troops off to the Middle East and that’s probably because her talks with the two Republican legislative leaders were positive.

The governor said, “I think there is a good faith effort to show we’re ready to get serious about negotiating.”

The good news is the there are items on the Republican list to restore state services that are also on the governor’s list and those include spending a million dollars on services for autistic children, $13 million for sheriff patrols, restoring funds for veterans and restoring “critical needs” dollars for hospitals.

Skubick: “Is it good news that they want to do some of what you want to do?”

Gov. Whitmer: “Tim, the good news is the lines of communication are open and I think we’ll continue to work towards making some progress.”

The two Republican leaders also agree with the cone of silence they and the governor have imposed on these talks.

That’s usually a sign that they don’t want to negate in public for fear of saying something that could derail this movement toward progress.

Local Republican Senator Tom Barrett, who serves on the Senate Budget Committee, wonders why the governor is now willing to restore some cuts that she vetoed to begin with.

Sen. Barrett: “I’m pleased to see that she recognizes she made a mistake and has come to the table to authorize some programs we thought were important.”

Skubick: “Does that lay the ground for more agreements?”

Sen. Barrett: “We’ll have to see.”

The governor was eager to pose for pictures today with military families.

The question is, will she have a photo opt at some point with the Republican leaders as they announce a new budget deal?

“I think we can find some common ground and the fact that we’re having a conversation is a good thing,” said the governor.

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