Skubick: Disagreements between GOP, Whitmer, could delay federal aid spending

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With $10 billion now flowing into state government, a disagreement between the governor and the GOP legislature could slow down the effort to spend those dollars, and special interest groups don’t want that. 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick is here for you with more on this feud.

So far the Governor has been fighting the GOP legislature which wants her to share some of her COVID emergency powers with them.

This fight has been raging on in some form since the beginning of the pandemic, with lawmakers vowing to cut her powers in April of 2020, and then to take her to court in May of 2020.

With $10 billion in federal COVID aid flowing into the state, the House GOP budget chair delivered an ultimatum to the governor: either talk to republicans or they won’t talk to you about spending those dollars.

“If you want a discussion on the budget, you’re going to have to let us have some input on how we respond to this pandemic as well,” said House Budget chair Rep. Tom Albert.

With or without her, the Legislature is going to spend the $10 billion.

The Republicans have blocked the Governor’s budget director from having input on where state dollars go, hoping that will pressure Whitmer to share her power.

“I would like to have been with them at the table this week negotiating a supplemental (deal,) and that may not happen soon,” Whitmer’s Budget Chair Dave Massaron said.

Gilda Jacobs, the CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy said that slowing down the distribution of funds could be harmful to needy families and children.

To break this log jam, Massaron said he is working hard on his relationship with the Senate Budget Chairman Jim Stamas and Rep. Albert.

It’s a work in progress.

“It’s possible that the current process will be a very rough process that will take time,” said Massaron.

“It’s time we all get to the big boy table and actually try to get results for people who live in this state.”

It appears that this trio is not at the “big boy” table yet.

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