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Republican leaders propose limits on executive power as part of new budget deal

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
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Capitol Building, Lansing, MI

Republicans in the Legislature have proposed what they say is a first step toward restoring widely unpopular budget cuts. Many of the cuts were enacted by a board controlled by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

GOP leaders want to place new limits on Whitmer's ability to do the same thing in the future. And Whitmer quickly responded with a “no.”

State Representative Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) says this legislation would help restore the balance of power between Michigan’s legislative and executive branches.

“I hope it is a piece to the puzzle that would solve this ongoing situation,” he says.

This group of bills would enact limits on how many dollars a board the governor controls can move around within budgets without legislative approval.

At stake are funds for programs such as the Pure Michigan campaign, services for children with autism, and rural road patrols.

Tiffany Brown is the governor’s press secretary. She says the bills are a non-starter.

“The governor has no interest in playing Republican games to grab power,” she says.

The State Administrative Board is made up of department directors appointed by the governor, as well as the attorney general and secretary of state. The board has a meeting scheduled to take place this week.

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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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