Governor walks away from budget negotiations

LANSING—Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, today issued the following statement after Governor Whitmer ended budget negotiations:

“Our sincere efforts to reach consensus on budget targets came to an abrupt end when my governor ended negotiations this afternoon.  A negotiation must include parties that put forth genuine effort to compromise and reach consensus.  We could not have predicted that our talks would break down over my governor wanting less money to fix the roads, but in the end, we could not accommodate her position.

As a result, the Senate will proceed with conference committees as scheduled.  Our budget will include $500 million more for roads, without raising taxes.  We are building upon the promise we made to taxpayers to find money within our existing budget to fund one of our major priorities: roads.

We will increase funding for schools nearly $400 million over current year spending; increasing per pupil funding between $120-$240.  Our budget will include $120 million in drinking water protections and increased funds for public safety to support 85 new state troopers in Michigan.

The Senate, with our partners in the House, will deliver a budget on time.  It is unfortunate that the administration is no longer willing to be part of the budget process, but it will not deter us from funding taxpayer priorities and delivering a sound fiscal plan for Michigan.”