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Whitmer bashes Legislature for not holding session while budget isn’t finished

governor gretchen whitmer sitting at table with blue screen behind her
Cheyna Roth
Michigan Radio

The state Legislature won’t hold a session for at least the next two weeks, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer is not happy about it.

That’s because the Republican-led Legislature went on break without finalizing the state’s budget.

“No one in Michigan, no one in any other field is allowed to go on a vacation until they get their work done," she said. "They’re expected to work and stay at the job until they’ve gotten their work done. That’s exactly what we need to demand of our leaders in Lansing as well.”

Whitmer presented her proposed budget to the Legislature in March. She says she has yet to see a comprehensive funding plan from the Legislature that would fix the roads, improve education, and clean up the state’s drinking water.

Whitmer’s budget proposal contains a 45-cent per gallon fuel tax increase. Republican leaders have called it a non-starter.

A spokesman for Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield says the House and Senate committees are resolving differences between the proposed budgets of the two chambers.

The budget, or some sort of placeholder bill, needs to be done by October 1 in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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