Big cuts coming if feds don’t bail out Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says

“We can't do it on our own. We need a partner in the federal government,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, shown at a news conference on the coronvirus, said Thursday.

LANSING – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday warned Michigan will have to dramatically cut spending and services if the federal government doesn’t send block grants to Michigan and other states facing massive budget shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan faces a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion this fiscal year and $3 billion in the next fiscal year as tax collections drop and unemployment payments skyrocket due to the coronavirus. The total shortfall is more than half of the $11 billion general fund budget for this fiscal year.

“We can't do it on our own. We need a partner in the federal government,” Whitmer said Thursday.

“This is a crisis unlike anything we've ever seen. I know I've said that many times, but the enormity of this is substantial.”

That help may come “in the next couple of weeks,” but it’s not certain, she said. Direct aid for states and cities that are struggling under the financial pressures of the virus has been a point of contention as Congress negotiates the next virus-related stimulus package. 

The HEROES Act, which would appropriate $500 billion for state governments, has passed the Democrat-led U.S. House and is awaiting consideration in the Senate. It’s been criticized by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a “big laundry list of pet priorities.”

Michigan, including specific funding for Detroit and Michigan’s four largest counties, received $3.8 billion from the CARES Act, which passed in late March. But that money can only be used to respond to the pandemic, not to supplement declining tax revenues.

Nor can the money pay for existing state government operations, “which is the number one thing we need,” budget spokesperson Kurt Weiss told Bridge earlier this month.

But if the federal government doesn’t deliver, it’s not clear what would be cut. 

Asked several questions about how the state would handle a massive budget shortfall should no federal funding become available, Whitmer wouldn’t say specifically and returned repeatedly to her call for more federal help. 

However, it would likely hit fundamental government services such as education, public safety and health care. 

“With a general fund that has been flat for more than 20 years, there’s very little left to cut from state government without impacting essential and critical services and programs,” said budget director Chris Kolb. 

“I believe that our legislative leaders agree that this is an unprecedented challenge, unlike anything we've seen in our lifetime.”

After an embattled budget negotiation that went to the 11th hour last year, the governor’s office and the Legislature struck a deal that would require lawmakers to submit a budget proposal by July 1. 

That deal is likely off the table this year, Kolb said. 

There will be another revenue estimating conference during the summer to further evaluate the impact of the virus on the state revenues, and officials will have to wait to see whether the federal government comes through with more funding. 

“So the budget timeline is going to have to be different,” Kolb said. 

Whitmer said she’ll work to protect funding for police and fire departments, local governments and schools and to find funding for vaccine research, paid sick and family leave and the state bonding program for roads, though it’s unclear how that could happen without federal help.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, has said he will also work to avoid any budget cuts for Michigan schools this year and hopes federal officials will pay for the $1.2 billion shortfall. Whitmer said Thursday that’s also her “top priority.”

“That's the enthusiasm I'm looking for in my partners here in Michigan, and our partners at the federal government who represent all of us,” Whitmer said.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Lakeshore fan
Thu, 05/28/2020 - 7:51pm

Maybe you should open the state and mitigate the damages from the virus. If I were the federal government, I wouldn’t give Michigan any money until the state is opened. Why not put Michigan residents first for a change, instead of the dnc!

Don
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:34am

WOW!! like other state that have open and the death rate goes up<< you like seeing people die????

Matt
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:02am

Please provide your stats. It's easy to stay home when you get a gov't check.

alterover
Tue, 06/09/2020 - 10:48am

That's NBC, I think the person was asking to quote a news source....think for yourself.

Todd
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 1:06pm

FALSE!! The states that are opening have a lower death rate and MORE are dying in BLUE states than red. Wake up.

Facts matter
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 9:31am

Florida has a Republican governor that really likes Donald Trump and Donald Trump really likes him.

Steve Smewing
Sun, 05/31/2020 - 3:12pm

Yes, please provide your data. Because the neighboring states that Michigan is one of a group that was formed clearly shows Michigan the most closed down, the most economically devastated, and the COVID numbers that have been clearly trending in a good direction for over the last 4-5 weeks. That is the data I have seen and compared to our neighboring states.

Amen
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:08pm

Lakeshore fan. Agree 100%. I have a kid in school. Cutting funding is not right for our children. And neither is saddling that generation with even more federal debt. Raising taxes reduces opportunities for families and thus our children. Having an economy saves lives. I can't believe how bad the judgement of this governor is. She's not saving lives when you look at the big picture.

Dave M
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 9:10am

ABC looked at 21 states that eased restrictions May 4 or earlier & found no major increase in hospitalizations, deaths or % of people testing positive in any of them. [SC, MT, GA, MS, SD, AR, CO, ID, IA, ND, OK, TN, TX, UT, WY, KS, FL, IN, MO, NE, OH]

May 4?
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 9:41am

You might want to check back with June numbers. It takes a couple of weeks to see the spikes. People have gone mad, indeed!

Jeff
Sun, 06/07/2020 - 9:20pm

You are correct we see that this virus is no worse then the yearly flu yet the democrats want to install fear into you so they can stay in control

Kevin Grand
Thu, 05/28/2020 - 8:41pm

The governor is waiting for something that will never come, and she knows it.

Pres. Trump has already signaled opposition to bailing out states.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/494807-trump-asks-why-taxpay...

The Michigan Legislature has already indicated that they're ready to make the necessary cuts.

The problem?

The governor won't act like a governor and do her job.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/05/28/whitmer...

She will not be able to executive "order" herself out of this budget mess.

MichVet
Thu, 05/28/2020 - 8:58pm

If she allowed companies and people to get back to work then the revenue hole could be patched. She alone, without the legislature, is keeping the state revenues down. To get money from the Federal government is still from us the people. We are the source of all tax dollars. Maybe she could just double the tax rate on the companies and people working. :}

Taxpayer
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:03am

Our economy would do much better if we stopped all the ID Theft and false unemployment claims. In the last few weeks, millions of people have become victims of ID Theft mainly because of corporate security breaches. In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people.

Maybe there really aren't as many unemployment claims as we are being told. Stop sending unemployment money to debit cards. Double check that claims are legit BEFORE paying claims. Now is the time to HIRE more government employees to enforce oversight. Where is the legislature, still on summer break? Can't get through to anyone in the government. Wouldn't it be better to hire people to help us than to just pay benefits for nothing in return, worse yet paying fraudulent claims? Where is the legislation to protect consumers and employees, ID Protection from breaches, required PPE for employees and customers?

We need real solutions, not just the continued mudslinging. Equifax should have to offer free lifetime protection to all the people who have had their private information compromised. The federal government and state government need to work together to solve these problems. You may not even know yet that you too have been victimized. "Law and order" means more than just bashing heads, it means using your head to hold all criminals responsible and encourage good citizenship, not by force, but by love, love of country, otherwise known as patriotism.

People are hurting because it seems no one sees their suffering, even though there are cameras everywhere. Everyone seems more interested in protecting their narrative rather than addressing the problems. We can do better. Our country can do better.

Michigan Resident
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 3:38pm

I love your logical and clear thinking. We need more of this!!

10x25mm
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 8:04am

Our Governor figured all along that she could get the Feds to reimburse most of Michigan's lost revenue - but not all. This explains why marijuana and lottery sales were so gently treated in the XO blizzard. Lost taxes on these products were never going to be reimbursed by the Feds.

Now the major threat to Michigan is our Governor's tardy education in idiomatic English, She is about to learn what "bite the hand that feeds you" means.

Why Would They??
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:11am

Governor Whitmer took EVERY opportunity to take shots at President Trump and basically called him a piece of crap and now she expects that he is going to bail out Michigan after she wrecked the economy with HER policies?

MAYBE if she would have acted like a normal human with a tiny bit of class and had at least been cordial, the money might be coming. After her tantrums and ego-driven preening for the national media, I wouldn't expect the President to do her ANY favors.

Jan J
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:05am

He is our president and she is our governor. They both work for us.

No bail out for...
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:25am

Gov. Whitmer contributed tremendously to the revenue shortfall by keeping business shut down for so long. Originally it was “flatten the curve” then Whitless just kept pushing for more. Now she wants the federal government to bail her out??!! It if far past time for Michigan to live within it’s means. No more borrowing or budget tricks to project costs out over years. We need a year by year budget and we need to have a fund for SURPLUS (think if it as a state savings account). We need to institute austerity measures and cut services dramatically in order to get our financial house in order. No bail out for bad behavior!

Up North Southerner
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:11am

I could not have said it better myself! When the economy was doing well... they should have been saving for a rainy day like the rest of us have to do. Also, get rid of pensions for public workers!!!

Jason
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:40pm

Yes!! Those rich teachers and their pensions!! Who needs them!!

Gazelda
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:55pm

Let's start with the politicians. Let them fund their own retirement and insurance. We paid them enough when they were in office.

No thanks
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:09am

Then they would be more likely to take bribes from lobbyists.

Treegod
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 4:39pm

They already do that's how they get rich in politics

Dave
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 10:04pm

You mean those teachers that haven't missed a paycheck even though they haven't worked in months? Way to share the pain!

middle of the mit
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 7:06pm

More republicans wanting to cut services and State aid while telling us that the State not regulating is the reason the dams broke. When you figure out which philosophy you want to follow, maybe we can start governing.

Austerity is the name of their game. They complain that Governor Gretchen doesn't have a rainy day fund now. How was she supposed to do that with an austerity minded GOP that doesn't want to raise taxes, or for the State to do anything at all?

This is where our rainy day fund went.

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/lawmakers-michigan-gov-snyd...

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/bid-eliminate-state-income-...

https://www.bridgemi.com/phils-column/lawmakers-fiddle-michigan-burns

Mr Powers lays it out very well in this statement :
What's behind all this? A fundamental failure in political governance in Michigan caused by anti-tax ideologues, term limits and gerrymandering.

Both houses of our legislature are firmly controlled by Republicans. Many GOP lawmakers have pledged not to raise taxes for any reason or for any purposes, even though we all know that when it comes to fixing the roads "you'll pay me now or you'll pay me (more) later".

And to that end,

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/michigan-lawmakers-dole-out...

More taxes, les...
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 6:00pm

It is a given that the more you tax something, the less you get of what you tax. I find it interesting that liberals first thought is always to raise taxes instead of controlling spending. High taxes never work out well for raising funds in the long term. Sure it works for the short term but people quickly figure out how to avoid the tax. The more long term solution is to make Michigan more business friendly. Low business tax, low income tax, low sales tax and you will ultimately attract more people and more business which will lead to more income. The formula is not difficult, the issue is that Liberals never run out of ways to spend other people’s money. If there is no federal bailout then Gov. Whitless will be forced to cut spending. Our state government wastes OUR money constantly and it is time for taxpayers to realize the waste is coming out of their pockets!

Carole
Sun, 05/31/2020 - 11:56am

The statement from one person who commented saying that the more you tax something, the less you get is correct. It is also true that it is always easy to spend other peoples money, but what do you do when there is no other peoples money to spend and that will happen. In Romania they have free education and free health care and their income tax rate is 80%. Face it the federal government was broke in the 1800's when they started borrowing money from J. Pierpont Morgan. Why because they forgot their initial purpose for being and got involved in trying to take over functions that were supposed to be left to the states.

WPA
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:18am

That's why we need a New Green Deal. FDR got it right. Pay taxes, get jobs not just a welfare check, fix our infrastructure, MAGA. Trump got it wrong. Where is the wall? Did Mexico pay for it? Did undocumented caged children build it?

LifeRyder
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 8:44pm

I'm SERIOUSLY hopeful that your comment/offering is in jest. If that isn't the case, ESPECIALLY the part of "... we need a New Green Deal. FDR got it right." That balance of you comment, in my opinion, to which is still entitled, is equal disturbing. But you are also 'exercising the right of the First Amendment. So let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that, shall we?

I call BS
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:12am

Unless taxes are progressive like they used to be when Eisenhower (R) was president and the US was number one in the world.

Geese&Ganders
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:10am

Yet the federal government can just print money, no accountability for bad behavior.

Michael Houseman
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:29am

This shows me she has no understanding of responsibility. She expects the Feds to bail her out because she made bad decisions. She shut down the State of Michigan, but now she expects the federal government to do her job. It shows how inept she is as a governor. When they were calling for the infrastructure of the Midland dam be taken into account she ignore it, though we can't place all the blame to her for that because her predecessor didn't do anything either. When she shut down the economy I believe it was a political move to hurt Trump, but all it did was hurt the people of Michigan. The federal government doesn't need to bail out Michigan, Governor Whitmer need to step up and do her job.

Netflix and chill
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:27am

Wow, how are things going in Kent county? Seems like the protests have caused a spike. Without Whitmer our number of deaths in Michigan would have been exponentially higher. Tweeting to "Liberate Michigan" wasn't such a good idea, agitating people already in a stressful situation.

Don
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:35am

Need to cut the politicians pay first!!!

Scott Roelofs
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:57am

I am absolutely opposed to the federal government bailing out Michigan, New York, California, Illinois, New Jersey and any other state that closed their businesses. This mess in Michigan is the creation of one person: Governor Whitmer. She is personally and soley responsible, or I should say, irresponsible. Our citizenry has suffered tremendous financial loss. Raising taxes on businesses and individuals is out of the question. Gretchen "my way or the highway" Whitmer had better figure out how to slash state government spending. She has shown no ability to form a negotiation partnership with the legislature.

Anonymous
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:29am

Partisan blinders?

Arjay
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 12:23pm

No blinders, just the absolute truth.

Mike
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:58am

While we may be looking to blame someone like the governor, we should keep in mind that every state in the country has the same problem and needs a bailout. It isn’t just Michigan.
Even if the state opened up completely today, the budget shortfall would still be there for many, many months. Unfortunately, drastic cuts to the state budget would result in significant layoffs further damaging the state’s economy. If the Federal Government doesn’t bailout the states, the economic impact to the country will be devastating and it will have an adverse impact on the services provided by state, county and local governments. It would be years before law enforcement, fire protection, health services, education and the many other services provided by government would recoup.

Matt
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:07am

If all states are in the same predicament wouldn't if be reasonable for the states to raise their own taxes or debt to cover this? Why is somehow Federal money considered magical, since it's just debt that future generations get to deal witht that likely had nothing to do with this?

Mike
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:55pm

The answer is yes but probably wouldn’t be done with the uniformity the Federal Govt. may do. The Federal Govt could also increase taxes that could be uniformly spread throughout the country. States are legally required to balance there budgets while the Federal Gov’t isn’t. So increasing state or local taxes may solve the problem but depending on the tax may require a vote of the people. On the local tax you could have some wealthy areas of the state pass taxes that some of the not so wealthy areas wouldn’t pass, possibly providing even more of a discrepancy of services provided within the state. Schools may suffer because, except in a very limited situations, they can’t even vote to increase operating taxes. Issuing debt would still require principal and interest payments which may adversely affect the current budget situation. I think it is just best left with the Fed. Govt.

No bail out
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:00pm

Why is the first thought of Democrats to raise taxes? How about the state do what we as individuals do and live within our means! No more taxes, no bail outs for bad decisions! Cut services if necessary (and I believe it will be necessary). Whitmer caused this budget problem with her executive orders, we should not bail her out.

Emory M
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:32am

Simply put, it can't. You might not care, but most of us do.

Julie
Wed, 06/10/2020 - 8:33am

I agree wholeheartedly. She's still playing politics. Wants to blame Trump for her bad decisions.

Matt
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:20pm

Mike since not all states have had the same experience or approaches to remedy it, it would be reasonable that they wouldn't have the same spending so what's the problem with non uniformity? Also seems that states have chosen different ways to address the perceived risk with markedly varying costs, so why should they not take costs into consideration?. States are able to issue bonds, modify legal restrictions and raise taxes across the board if they're so inclined as are localities but seems your issue is more with the fact that the voters wouldn't agree to these unless these costs can be passed to future tax payers.

Mike
Sun, 05/31/2020 - 10:04am

Matt your absolutely correct.

Gazelda
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:01pm

Mike, that's not quite accurate. While a lot are in need of help I've heard many governors state that because they have a balanced budget each year that they actually have a surplus. Imagine. Michigan could be that way too without greedy politicians and a change to our laws. Something to push for.

Gary
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 11:26am

$25 Trillion is bails out out the fed? There is not money and no such thing as a bail out. Suck it up, times will get tough.

Mike in TC
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:04am

No one is going to be "made whole" after the virus abates. Not General Motors, not local governments, not laid off workers, and definitely not state government. We all have to come to grips with the fact that the tools used already to mitigate the economic downturn have an immense cost that will take decades to repay. Anything added to that should be carefully thought through and a hell of a lot less than the US House voted without debate.

Marshall
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:03pm

Very sensible post. Laid off workers should do OK if they get back to work before the $600 weekly supplement ends. Their problems stem from the State's inability to get their clams processed in a timely manner. There will be some pain to go around . I wish people thought of "Government Money" as money taken from working people, or as an IOU we hand to our GRANDKIDS. We've already spent our kids' future earnings.

GOOD Govt
Fri, 06/05/2020 - 10:44am

If you really are a fiscal conservative, you would understand that a huge amount of those claims are fraudulent and should not be paid without more oversight.

Identity Theft on the Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic according to IDentityUSA

Experts Predict One out of Every 4 People in the United States will be a Victim of this Growing Crime Trend as More People Working From Home
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/identity-theft-on-the-rise-duri...

Michigan declined Quicken Loans' offer to aid unemployment system
“We need answers from the administration about why they declined," said Rep. Matt Hall, the Republican who chairs the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, when asked about the Quicken Loans offer.
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/06/03/state-d...

Why are Republicans pushing for paying unemployment benefits faster and using private companies, instead of hiring the unemployed to process legitimate claims rather than false claims? Shouldn't we be sure about the legitimacy of the claims before making such payments?

Tom
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:18am

What she is saying is she wants the feds to send Michigan more of that pretend digital money they are producing from nothing. States can't run with a budget deficit, the feds just keep the debt clock a turning. One day it will all collapse and when it does, we deserve what we get from the event.

Marshall
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:53am

Good answer. Decades of financial irresponsibility from members of BOTH parties have left us all in a lurch. Reckless deficit spending during good times and bad, all to buy votes and maintain power. Oh yea, they spent your Social Security money, too.

Ouchez
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:20am

The buck stops with Gov. Whitmer!! She failed us miserably, now she wants Prez. to bail her out,,after all he has already given. What gall!

Chris
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:49am

Hey Gretchie...Maybe you shouldn't have sent out all the applications for absentee ballots without permission and saved that money and maybe, just maybe, you should have played nice with the feds and our state legislators. Didn't your mother ever tell you that you can get more flies with honey than with vinegar? You have no one to blame for the shortfall but yourself, our AG, and our SoS. If you had been more open about the reasoning behind your executive orders and not so hell-bent on becoming Biden's VP pick by running from TV interview to TV interview, maybe your orders would have been taken more to heart. But no, you treated us like we were little children, not adults, you pulled the licenses of people that defied your unconstitutional orders, and called the citizens that showed up to legally protest at the capitol names among other things. It's been close to 3 months and now your political machinations are starting to come unraveled. You have reaped what you have sown. If I were Trump, you would not get one thin dime.

SS
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:09am

Governor Whitmer,
Let the businesses open up. They will figure out how to do it safely and able to welcome customers. Then you will get your tax money! You can’t expect the Fed s to bail YOU out for your incompetence in keeping the state shut down so long.

Barry Visel
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:52am

Local governments need money, so they tax you and me and ask the State for help. The State needs money , so it taxes you and me and asked the Feds for help. The Federal government needs money so it taxes you and me, and prints more money which reduces the value of the dollar and raises the national debt. Truman was wrong...the “buck” stops with us!

Bridge, what is comparing 2 years of shortfall to our current 1 year of budget supposed to mean? Also, do we have any reserves to offset the shortfall?...last I knew that was approaching $1B, but I’m not sure of that.

Karma
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 11:59am

Translation: I have po'd a co-equal branch of government that won't work with me on a budget revision, so I want to be bailed out and not have to address the pain I have caused others.

A Yooper
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:04pm

Stick to your guns Governor, that's why the majority voted for you.
The Virus figures are positive now, but it will never be eradicated until a vaccine is available.
In the meantime, those who adhere to the guidelines established by the CDC will continue to try to keep from being infected. That is first and foremost to me and my family members.
What good do tax monies do for us if we are dead???????
There is a lot of fat that can be trimmed from school budgets and we all know it.

Pro Teacher
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 3:43pm

"There is a lot of fat that can be trimmed from school budgets and we all know it." Really? What school district do you work for again? If schools are getting too much money why did I, and my colleagues, purchase everything from pencils to books for students this year with our own money?

Gazelda
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:13pm

Just because there's a vaccine doesn't mean you can force people to get it, or hadn't you thought of that? Most people don't get the existing flu shot or pneumonia vaccine. Secondly, every school teacher I've known for the last several years stocks their classrooms with pencils, paper, art supplies, books....everything purchased from their way too small paycheck. Remember most of them also have bills to pay and families to feed and clothe.

Gazelda
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:16pm

Just because there's a vaccine doesn't mean you can force people to get it, or hadn't you thought of that? Most people don't get the existing flu shot or pneumonia vaccine. Secondly, every school teacher I've known for the last several years stocks their classrooms with pencils, paper, art supplies, books....everything purchased from their way too small paycheck. Remember most of them also have bills to pay and families to feed and clothe.

Anne
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 8:16am

I encourage you to read the true statistics on the fatality rate of COVID 19. The fear- mongering of the MSM and our governor has resulted in many in our populace sharing your opinion, which has crippled us as a society in so many ways greater than COVID 19 itself.

Anna
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:26pm

I'm pretty sure that any help from the Federal government is not going to come close to filling the hole blasted in the state budget by the response to COVID-19. Between extra state expenditures for public health measures, unemployment payments for all the healthy people shut out of their jobs by the state wide stay-home-from-work orders, still in force for more than 2/3 of the state's population, and the loss of tax revenue due to most retail outlets being closed, Michigan now has the worst of all budget worlds. Nor will Gov. Whitmer's high national profile as a possible Biden VP and Trump critic serve Michigan well in getting any Federal help.

It'll be that much harder to find our way to a balanced budget for Michigan because Gov. Whitmer walked away from collaborative negotiation when the entire state legislature, including her own party, refused to move forward on her 45-cent-per-gallon hike in the gasoline tax. She doubled down by line-item vetoing such critical items as support for rural hospitals and clinics, equal funding for all K-12 public school students, and emergency repairs to several bridges which she had specificlly requested. After months of negotiations, she vetoed the Supplemental Appropriation bill that would have funded some - most importantly under the circumstances, the rural hospitals - of the cut, using the COVID-19 emergency as an excuse.

After the first 28 days of the emergency, Whitmer further damaged her relationship with the Michigan legislature by refusing to meet with them or share the data or criteria on which she was basing her continued state-wide total shutdown. Not even her regular "Quadrant" meetings with both Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have continued. Certain aspects of her continuing Emergency Executive Orders explicitly ignored the Federal guidelines re. industries that could operate safely with physical distancing and enhanced attention to hygiene and micro-managed the sales operations of "critical retailers" in ways that look suspiciously like targeting the revenue of specific Republican lawmaker's familiy businesses.

Although I am a fierce supporter of school choice and charter schools, I was originally happy when Gretchen Whiitmer was elected governor, because she campaigned on her ability to work collaboratively with legislators from both sides of the aisle. In the current emergency and during the probably-decade long recovery coming up, we need respectful, honest collaboration more than ever. I no longer believe that Gov. Whitmer will be able to participate in that effort, and is therefore not fit to continue in her office.

Arjay
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 12:42pm

You do realize that almost all money, be it Federal or state, comes from people and the business they have started. So why should a person or a business be forced to take money out of their left pocket to put it in their right pocket. Why just not eliminate the government that isn't working (hint, hint, begins with M and ends with n) and avoid having to do a phony transfer of your money

Jeff
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 1:59pm

Because that isn't how our system of government works. You can't simply eliminate the state or its government. There's no precedent for merging states together that I'm aware of, and that's what you must be advocating for because that's the only way the state gov't "goes away."

woody Glasson
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 1:01pm

WOW slap me then ask me to help you? why doesn't she ask Her Dem gov. friends to help her ?Oh, wait they need a bail out to. See the pattern here. They want money for roads then spend it on other things. BTW how much money has the Feds given the state for the virus already. NO FED BAIL OUT

BT
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 1:10pm

All this talk from the Governor is just to cover her behind and divert attention away from her and her administration and make it look like it is the Feds fault that these cuts had to be made. She doesn't want the Feds telling her what to do or how to run her State but she sure will stand there with her hand out when she needs money.

Anonymous
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 1:17pm

Looks like the states are going to hafta cut back before relying on the federal government.. Federal workers took the brunt last time...

Gunner
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 2:37pm

How interesting that she basically blew through a surplus in the budget by being over restrictive and yet now it's a federal problem? Seems to be familiar words from every Dem governor in the nation. I'd say it's just another attempt to smear the POTUS! It's HER fault and her fault only that this has gone on and on. This is a joke. She cannot lie her way out of this mess. All of the bankruptcies fall on her head. Our only hope is that the Supreme Court hammers her down so that this once great state can get back to LIFE! Her power grab must stop, now. This is no longer about any virus and we that are woke are fully aware of the scheme. She has waged war upon the citizens of this state. And we are angry!

self inflicted wound
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 2:49pm

Look, COVID 19 is serious, there's no doubt about that. But at the end of the day, 25% of deaths in the state are from nursing homes. We'll never know whether if the state actually provided the elderly with nowhere to go who had COVID a safe place with only COVID patients to go, instead of forcing them into facilities with non-infected patients, the death rate would be lower, but common sense seems to suggest it would have been. TCF or suburban showcase would have been perfect for this. Instead it was 10s of millions of $ wasted.

Among total deaths, 69% were over 70, 87% over 60, and 95% over 50. This is from state-provided data here:
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98163_98173---,00.html

This means ~5% of deaths were for people under 50, or 267 people. That is truly tragic... all the deaths are... but if there is no or insufficient federal bailout funding, then think of the mass suffering and divestment in the least among us, the poor, the sick, the mentally ill, the infants and mothers, the disabled, children in school, etc that this extremely conservative approach will cause. How many deaths will austerity in Michigan cause that will never be formally attributed to COVID-19? How much mental anguish and lack of opportunity will the next generation face?

I say this with parents in their 60s and 70s, and a living grandmother older than that. All of our efforts and caution should have gone into this demographic... the elderly and the ill. Had we done that, we probably could have kept most of the economy running and possibly kept our total deaths the same or lower than they are now.

Yup
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 6:46pm

I totally agree! We should have protected the most vulnerable, especially as it became clearer that this virus is catastrophic for the eldery.

Chris
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 2:53pm

Couldn’t agree more. Signed a healthy, under 60yo, unemployed nurse.

Terry Cross
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 3:04pm

After blasting the opposition party endlessly for the last two weeks, she now wants to go to the Federal government for a handout. Biden must have told her she is in the political dumpster and won't be selected. Well, that is where she belongs. She will bankrupt this state and drag all of us down the rat hole she deserves, but we will be stuck with the bill. Michigan will be digging out of this debt for the next 5-10 years for sure. Can a Michigan Governer be impeached? I would hope so and soon before there is nothing left. Get her out of there!

Indyson
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 4:13pm

Well, let's see... you could buy liquor, marijuana, and get an abortion, but you couldn't go to church, buy vegetable seeds, or work at your job. However, at no time during this exemplary exhibition of total tyrannical incompetence did any member of the legions of bureaucracies within Lansing's control centers lose their jobs or paychecks. The state's executive, judicial, and legislative branches continued along their merry way only using this time processes even more than normal.
Meanwhile, the Lansing ___WHIT continues to wave an autocratic, deceitful sword of business and social destructive acts and fear-mongering into a statewide economic and commercial tailspin unsupported by actual facts, but more a prevailing ego and incompetence unable/unwilling to admit its inability to appropriately perform for citizen benefit. Add this to the unwritten, but very evident political agenda of seeking higher ground above the lowly peons of Michigan and into the DC beltway (if not the WH) to create even more damage while expanding her party's national socialist/terrorist agenda and full control of the lowly populace. Damn the Constitution and Bill of Rights!
The mere suggestion that DC should bailout this state for the incompetence of its elected should be ignored - but it won't, and taxpayers are eliminated from any decisions on this. With the November election MSM will surely spin this into a story to certainly generate public furor ensuring Michigan retains its blue state status and put the Gretch up in lights. Direction behind the scenes by the DNC, in conjunction with the organizations of Geo Soros, Denny Styer, and the New Green Deal since the inception of this administration are all aimed at improving this Lansing "sooper executive's" political status and economic dependency on DC.
Let's hope the lowly peasants of this fiefdom will recognize the harm done by the virus to us currently residing in Lansing's executive offices is greater than anything the kung flu could generate and make proper choices to eradicate it come November 2020, 2022, & 2024, if not sooner...

Big Mike
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 4:13pm

Trump would rather watch Michigan burn than send Federal aid during this crisis. Why? Because Whitmer isn't a republican. You never know, but personally, I'll be really surprised if Trump gets elected a second time, with all of the widespread anger I'm seeing towards him and his horrible handling of this crisis.

Matt
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 10:30pm

Seems you forgot, Trump won Michigan last time and critically needs it again. Letting it burn is the last thing on his little mind!

Whitmer burned ...
Sun, 05/31/2020 - 3:54am

Sorry Mike, Gov Whitmer gets all the credit for ruining the Michigan economy. It started with “flatten the curve” and evolved to flatten the economy. Whitmer owns this as it is her tyrannical executive orders that kept businesses closed. People should be permitted to make their own decisions on going to work, going shopping, going boating, living life. It is not the roll of government to control all aspects of life, unfortunately Whitmer thinks she is everyones mommy.

Larry
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 4:48pm

No Federal Bailout. Whitmer put us in this hole, she can get us out. It's going to be fun watching her and her giant ego try an make a go of it. Fix the Damn Roads? Guess not.

Diana
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 7:53pm

All I see is the governor saying.... I can't do this, I need help, stay home, no hair cuts for you, I need money. It appears she has absolutely no leadership skills and says nothing positive. She's a glass half empty type of person.

Diana
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 7:57pm

Openng up the state would bring millions of dollars back. People are driving to OH and Indiana to spend their money.

Jaynee Germond
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 8:59pm

I have an idea- OPEN THE STATE AND LET PEOPLE GO BACK TO WORK! Novel idea, I know, but it could work!
No more riding on the false story of a super-deadly virus. It has been proven to NOT be very deadly with a death rate of 0.26% (these numbers are from the CDC). The only reason for our very high Michigan death rate is because Queen Gretch demanded that nursing homes accept COVID patients and the nursing home directors didn't have the..... guts.... to say "no" and protect their residents.

I'm done with this Socialist Dictator. RECALL TIME!!!!

Gazelda
Fri, 05/29/2020 - 9:49pm

Big cuts to the budget should be made starting with how much our governor and legislators at both state and federal levels are paid.

Mary
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 12:42am

The first couple of weeks of the shut down I understood and did what I had to do. Since then, I think it's all ridiculous. This has never been about covid19.

Agreed
Sun, 05/31/2020 - 3:27pm

You are correct Mary, COVID-19 was the excuse. Whitless wants a bad economy, it’s about politics and only politics.

Chuck
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 2:16am

If the Federal government were to bail her out she'll have it spent as soon as the check clears!

This past weekend M-Dot crews were out mowing a 5 mile stretch of 131 in Kalamazoo. Not just 1 or 2 people either. I personally saw 4 tractors, 6 support vehicles and 10 plus people with string trimmers. All while Kalamazoo is still under her stay home order. Doing highway maintenance is one thing but you rarely see them mowing on Fridays and weekends forget it. That big of a crew out on a holiday weekend is basically giving tax payer dollars to state employees. Some of them have been able to work this whole time. Tuesday they were even out mowing in the rain because you know that's an efficient way to cut grass.

We don't have the budget to fix the roads but we do have the budget for overtime, holiday and hazard pay. At least when a pothole gives you a flat you won't physically be in the weeds. You just won't be able to pay for the tow because the UIA is plagued with problems and sends every call to voicemail.

Raislin Major
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 10:57am

This whole controversy is a joke- the emails are clearly sexist and Whitmer is the victim.

Here is another joke for you- A man walks into a marina and says "I want special privileges because my wife is the Governor."

One more funny joke for you- Gretchen Whitmer.

Randall Blum
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 12:14pm

The Feds should provide revenue loss supplements for March and April. Every thing after that should fall on the Governors who are creating their own problems. If you won't reopen, you don't need any help.

William C. Plumpe
Sat, 05/30/2020 - 12:27pm

Hate to say it but in light of the unprecedented budget shortfall
I think teachers in Michigan should give up 10% of salary for two years in return for no layoffs during that period. Would show teachers as concerned and
acting in a positive and proactive manner to help relieve the negative effects of the virus pandemic. Would get teachers some much-needed goodwill too. That can only help.

Steve Smewing
Sun, 05/31/2020 - 3:28pm

Governor Whitmer has clearly acted alone on this and that will certainly prevent placing the burden of the actions on a larger group. The GOP in the state is complaining that they have been completely left out of dealing with the pandemic. If anyone from the Michigan GOP is reading this, stop and think. It is too late now to make much of a difference in the ruin Whitmer has laid on the state. Whitmer has given you the biggest gift I have seen in modern political times. Take the gift. Her record will hang on her neck for the rest of her life. Do your job. Fix what you can. For Governor in the next election please find another business person who sees the position as an opportunity to apply solid principles to run the state and serve his or her 8 years and move on. Please, do not give us candidates like those who ran against Whitmer. I felt like I had to take very bad-tasting medicine just to only be voting against Whitmer knowing my vote would not count. As I said Whitmer has given the GOP a huge gift like one never given before. Her co-equal is doing the same and her name is Dana Nessel. Neither of the two can stop their own self-harm. Take the gift. Find a good candidate. Open the primaries more than you have been in the recent past.

Simon
Sun, 06/07/2020 - 9:49am

Every state has this problem and wants a bailout. Where is the federal government going to get the money from? We are already $25 trillion in debt.

Jeff
Sun, 06/07/2020 - 9:18pm

This women is the worst governor Michigan has ever had. She slams the President all the time yet says send us money or we will have to make big cuts. How about this cut funding to planned parenthood no free collage and let the people go back to work instead of taking away their licenses of their business.

Richard M
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 9:38am

Cut.

Jill
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 10:21am

You had a Balanced budget when you took Office. A surplus in $$. YOU Failed. Not up to the Government to bail you out.

Doris Abraham
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 10:36am

Open up the state/everyone back to work/Benson wasted an extreme amount of Federal Cares Act Money when she sent out all those applications for absentee ballots. Some households of 2 got 6 applications (what a total waste of money/possible voter fraud). Witmer/Benson should work on stopping government waste & fraud.

Jayne
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 12:04pm

Whitmer, YOU are singlehandedly responsible for the deep financial trouble the state is in. Only the blue states are begging for federal block grants because of their ineptitude. President Trump, please don't give a penny to Michigan and reward Whitmer for keeping the people under house arrest needlessly, long after every red state put the people back to work. Still there are businesses and self employed people that Whitmer won't allow to get to work and be productive.
Whitmer deserves to get ZERO for being a tyrannical power hungry governor. Perhaps the people of Michigan will use their head for something other than a place to put headphones on in the future and not vote for imbeciles.

Dennis
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 2:33pm

I guess they will have to close the govt offices until the closed businesses can reopen and generate tax revenue. Actions have consequences and that is the reality of life.

Philip J. VanHo...
Mon, 06/08/2020 - 8:45pm

Maybe she should have managed the crisis and her budget better. The Governor is supposed to be the top manager of the state. Her lack of any management skills or experience are sorely evident. Now her solution is to whine to President Trump and the federal government to use the tax dollars paid by every citizen of the United States to bail Michigan out from her poor decision making. Funny how Michigan, California, New York, Illinois and other states run be liberal governors are the ones whining for President Trump to bail them out. HMMM, starting to look like a pattern. Michigan needs to make sure Whiter is only a one term mistake.

Noneya
Tue, 06/09/2020 - 8:37am

Seriously.....Hey Big Gretch this is all your fault

Anonymous
Tue, 06/09/2020 - 12:05pm

Maybe use the fix the road taxes from the last 3 years.... they sure haven't gone towards fixing the roads

Own Accountability
Wed, 06/10/2020 - 6:22am

Governor you and your inept administration own this. You mismanaged our money and put Michigan in this situation on your own. You mismanaged COVID-19 on your own. Remember you wanted no help from others as you had all the answers. So with all your infinite wisdom the buck stops with you NOT our federal government. Do not raise our taxes and you do not deserve a federal bailout. Figure it out responsibly and YOU can explain your actions to those the budget cuts hurt. You did it and you are responsible. Stop the blame game and cry me a river management. You have failed us and yourself. Now get to work and take accountability.

Aero
Thu, 06/11/2020 - 9:06am

We need Whitmer to open a uia office so we can get our money u can’t speak or message unemployment so let them let 10ppl in at a time n I’ll wait my turn for something that takes 5 min to clear so I can get my $$

Jennifer
Sun, 06/14/2020 - 11:02am

The federal government shouldn't bail us out. Whitmer has personally decided to shut our state down for too long. It was very irresponsible on her part. Let Michigan financially sink and maybe people will remember that when the go to vote for a new governor. You reap what you sow Whitmer. Choices have consequences.

SamK
Mon, 06/15/2020 - 9:53am

Sorry Whitmer, but it was your choice to close the state and forego needed tax revenues to protect lives. Well that didn’t work out well did it? No state deserves a federal bailout .