Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer (Photo: Roberta Jasina/WWJ)

Whitmer Blasts Lawmakers For Going On 'Vacation' Without Budget Deal

June 25, 2019 - 5:51 pm

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is criticizing Michigan's Republican-led Legislature for taking a "vacation" without a deal to fund state services or spend more to fix the roads.

The Democratic governor held a budget briefing with reporters Tuesday, as lawmakers began a two-month stretch in which session days are "tentative" only. She says average people can't go on vacation until their work is done.

Whitmer and Republicans are at odds over her plan that includes a 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase to improve roads and end "shell games" that limit education spending increases.

The House and Senate have passed different budget plans, but Whitmer says she's the only one to put a "complete and real solution on the table."

Shooting back at the governor, Senator Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said: "This is the beginning of a long negotiation process, so I don't think everyone should get upset and tied up in their underpants over our scheduling right now." 

Asked by WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick to respond to Shirkey's remark, Whitmer laughed and said, "I don't even know how to weigh in on that."

The governor added that with these "salacious" talking points, "I wonder if they're getting tips from the White House...but I'm not going to engage beyond that."

Republicans have said talks will continue regardless of whether all legislators are in Lansing.

Michigan's state budget year ends September 30.