Whitmer has options as budget deadline looms


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been remarkably quiet in Lansing since a flurry of activity on Tuesday that saw the legislature pass 15 budget bills in one day.

Some of those bills are starting to make its way to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Now the question is what will she do with them?

The options for Whitmer are pretty clear. She could sign all the bills as presented and the government will continue uninterrupted. That is not going to happen.

Whitmer could veto them all and the government would likely come to a partial shutdown until an agreement could be reached. She could also line-item veto, taking out parts of the budget that she found objectionable then sign them.

But what options and or preparations have the legislature made if they must take further action?

Both bodies are adjourned until next Wednesday, but they could be back sooner if necessary.

But if they do come back, can they quickly pass legislation that could avert or greatly shorten a potential shutdown?

Muskegon County Representative Greg VanWoerkom says he thinks so.

“I don’t want to get into too much Lansing speak or terminology, but we’ve got a vehicle ready if that’s the case where we could vote on that and get it to the Governor. I’m pretty confident in that. When we talk about different shutdowns, there are different departments of how it’s going to impact people. We don’t want to be talking about a shutdown,” said the freshman Republican.

VanWoerkom is referring to a bill that has already been passed by both chambers that could quickly have new language substituted as a new budget — if the legislature and Whitmer could come to an agreement.

That’s something they haven’t been able to do in more than 200 days. Now they have a little over 100 hours to figure it out.

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