State Senate returns with little to report, budget talks ongoing | Michigan Radio
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State Senate returns with little to report, budget talks ongoing

Aug 21, 2019

Lawmakers met Tuesday for the first time since June. They met mostly in private and didn't vote on any bills, although they introduced more than 60.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

The state Senate was back in Lansing Tuesday. Lawmakers mostly met in private and did not vote on any bills. They say they are still working on coming up with a state budget and roads plan. The budget is due by midnight on September 30.

Republican Senator Wayne Schmidt is chair of the Senate Appropriations Transportation subcommittee. He says part of the hold up is that for the first time in eight years there’s bipartisan government. Republican leadership in the House and Senate, and a Democrat in the governor’s office.

“It’s going to take some time. It’s not quite as easy as it has been the last eight years, but we’ve had a little change in the front office and we have to adapt to it,” Schmidt said.

Another major hangup is a roads plan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she wants the budget to include more than $2 billion for the state’s crumbling roads.

Lawmakers introduced more than 60 bills on topics like environmental protection, electric vehicle charging stations at state parks, and increasing penalties for embezzling from vulnerable adults.

Lawmakers haven’t gone to session since June, but both chambers plan to meet next week.