Skubick: Republican lawmakers warn of damaged relationships if Whitmer wields veto pen


The Senate Republican leader is warning Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that their cooperative relationship could be fractured if she decides to undo some of the budget decision Republicans just made in the $59 billion state budget they are about to send her.

The question is, will there be a shutdown as a result of the budget disagreements?  

“I don’t believe the government will shutdown,” said Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. “There are options short of that but she has to be strong.”

The governor had zero input on the Republican budget, which she called a “mess.” Her options include vetoing all the budgets, which is highly unlikely.  She can line item veto Republican spending decisions, which is very likely.

Or she could use an obscure law which gives her the power to take money from one department service and unilaterally move it to another service without an OK from lawmakers.

“That’s exactly what the constitution give her the power to do,” explains Sen. Hertel.

But look out if she were to undo what the Republicans just did.

Republican leader Sen. Mike Shirkey warns the governor “the legislature, at the end of the day, decides how to spend the money so you can take that to anywhere you want to, Tim. There is no interest in fragmenting or fracturing our relationship going forward.”

On the budgets the governor is considering there is $800 million for fixing the roads.

She is likely to veto that, believing it is not a permanent fix for the road problem.

Sen Hertel explains, “it’s a very small investment when you look at what is needed and it does not solve the problem. They should be called out for that.”

Mr. Shirkey expects no government shutdown but if she (Whitmer) vetoes items, like the road money, he pledges to work with her to resolve their differences.

The senator explains, “she vetoes a few items, we’ll put them in a bucket that I call a future supplemental and we’re be back at the table negotiating again.”

In the proposed budget 86 new state troopers will be hired and there’s $120 million to avoid Flint-type drinking water problems in other cities.

The governor will be busy reviewing all these budgets which she must sign before October first to avoid that government shutdown.

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