Stamas ‘extremely disappointed’ with governor’s cuts

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas on Thursday said the governor’s $947 million in line-item vetoes from the fiscal year 2020 budget put public safety and public health at risk.

“Although I’m happy the governor signed the budget with increased funding for K-12 education and drinking water protections, I am extremely disappointed with her nearly $1 billion in line-item vetoes,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “We delivered a responsible and balanced state budget on time that increased funding for roads and schools, and she virtually gutted it because it doesn’t include her massive $2.5 billion tax hike on Michigan families.

“The governor’s reckless, punitive and partisan actions jeopardize public safety and public health, especially in our rural communities.”

Upon signing the state budget, the governor issued a historic 147 line-item vetoes to cut nearly $950 million in funding approved by the Legislature, including:
• $375 million in additional road funding;
• $128 million from the K-12 school aid budget;
• $15 million in grants to local airports for PFAS and emerging contaminants;
• $34 million for mostly rural critical access hospitals;
• $17.5 million to train doctors needed in underserved rural communities;
• $16.6 million for rural hospitals that are the sole option in their communities;
• $8 million for OB-GYN services at rural hospitals;
• $13 million for county sheriff secondary road patrols; and
• $27 million in payments to rural communities in lieu of taxes on state-owned land.

The governor also eliminated funding for the Pure Michigan tourism promotion program, the Going Pro job training program and the county jail reimbursement program.

The governor also used the State Administrative Board — made up of four statewide elected officials and select department heads — to transfer $625 million around in various departments.

“Members of the Senate and House Appropriations committees spent a tremendous amount of time putting together a smart budget for all Michigan families and job providers,” Stamas said. “Unfortunately, the governor walked out of the budget talks, cut nearly $1 billion on her own, and then circumvented our co-equal system of government by taking the unprecedented action of using an administrative board to move $625 million without legislative or public input.”