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Politics & Government

State Senate corrections' budget moves to floor with controversial immigration provision

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Capitol Building, Lansing, MI

A controversial provision in a budget bill (SB 135) would penalize communities with sanctuary city policies. A state Senate committee passed its version of the Michigan Department of Corrections budget on Wednesday.

The budget includes a provision that would penalize communities with policies that prevent law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration issues. They would lose a jail reimbursement.

Senator Tom Barrett (R-Potterville) is a bill sponsor. 

“I got elected to vote and promote the policy that we make in our state. I work with our partners in departments, but ultimately we as the lawmakers make the decision as to what goes in their budget,” says Barrett.

The department says this could negatively impact taxpayers and cases that have nothing to do with immigration.

Chris Gautz is a spokesman for the department. He says if the counties lose the money they’ll stop housing those inmates – and that means the prisons will have to take them.

“Keeping the program the way it is and not having these cases be in doubt is best for the individuals involved that would be serving time in county jail and it’s also much better for the county taxpayers and state taxpayers,” says Gautz.

The budget with the provision is waiting for a full Senate vote.