GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Negotiations seem to be moving forward — if cautiously — on a state budget two days after the unexpected development that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would not require that it be tied to new revenue for roads.
Even though the Democratic governor is dealing with a Republican-controlled Legislature, the two sides have shown some signs of cooperation, especially now that a roads deal is off the table.
“Winds can change fast and now that we’re finally negotiating — unfortunately they’ve really run down the time clock and made it very difficult to get a budget done on time so I’ve had to do all the preparations in the event we don’t — but we’re going to work day and night until we get a budget done. And we’re negotiating. I guess that’s a good sign, but we’ll kind of see. Things can blow up on any given day,” Whitmer said Wednesday while visiting Grand Rapids to talk about the state’s recreation industry.
The Republican leadership in the Legislature is preparing budget bills to be completed the week of Sept. 23. On Tuesday, at least one of those leaders expressed optimism that the governor’s team would negotiate with them so those budgets would be signed once passed.
Unlike the last two chief executives for Michigan, Whitmer knows what it’s like to work on a budget from the legislative side after 14 years in the House and Senate.