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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Michigan officials agree to budget deal to avoid government shutdown

Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, on Sunday vetoed four bills that would tweak election laws in Michigan. (Bridge file photo)

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LANSING -- Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration and leaders in Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature have reached a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown, officials announced Wednesday.

While details of the likely $50 billion to $60 billion spending plan will not be public until next week, negotiators described the handshake deal as a significant step.

“This is a budget that is good for Michigan," Budget Director Dave Massaron said in a statement. "It reflects shared priorities that will move Michigan forward as we continue to emerge from the pandemic as an even stronger state.”

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The Michigan Constitution requires Whitmer and the Legislature to finalize a balanced budget by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Assuming they do so, the state will avoid its first temporary government shutdown since 2009.

With that deadline approaching, lawmakers are expected to begin voting as early as next week on an "omnibus" budget bill "covering the funding for all state departments and agencies for the next fiscal year," according to a joint release with Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas of Midland and House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert of Lowell. 

As Bridge Michigan reported last week, the deal is not expected to include any of the $8.5 billion in federal stimulus funds available to the state. Whitmer and legislative leaders are expected to continue negotiations over that money following completion of the budget. 

Whitmer and the GOP-led Legislature agreed to a record-setting $17.1 billion K-12 education budget in July, a major breakthrough after a prolonged and acrimonious standoff over statewide COVID-19 orders the governor ultimately lifted this summer.

"And now we are close to finishing work on other parts of the state budget that will help meet the needs of Michigan residents and continue the state’s recovery from the COVID pandemic," Albert said in a statement. 

"I look forward to votes on the budget soon.”

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