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Gov. Whitmer says budget deal could still avert worst effects of cuts

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio file photo
The chamber of Michigan's House of Representatives in Lansing. Leaders in the Michigan legislature and Governor Granholm are close to an agreement on the budget.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s hopeful talks with the Legislature’s GOP leaders could soon lead to a new budget deal.

The state’s fiscal year began almost a month ago. But the governor says it’s not too late to restore money for county jails, rural healthcare, and the Pure Michigan ad campaign.

Whitmer says she hopes to reach an understanding with the Republican leadership this week.

“It could go into next week, but my hope is that it doesn’t go beyond that because these are critical services that people expect us to find common ground on,” she says.

Whitmer also says she wants more money for cyber-security to be part of the new budget deal.

She took part Monday in a cyber-security conference in Detroit. She says the state must constantly update its computer systems to protect people’s privacy.

“These are critical functions that effect the health and safety and welfare of the people of Michigan. These are important things that we need to find some common ground on, and if there are other issues, which I suspect there are, I’m ready to negotiate,” she says.

The governor signed budgets last month with line-item vetoes and transfers that angered Republicans and Democrats alike.

The Legislature returns to the state Capitol Tuesday.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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