Whitmer signs bills to complete budget, hails bipartisanship

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed off on $55 billion in spending to complete the state budget, hailing the bipartisan bills as an example of finding common ground with Republicans despite partisan tension during the coronavirus pandemic.

She emphasized Wednesday how the budget will expand eligibility for child care subsidies, provide $1,000 bonuses to child care workers and continue to fund new tuition-free assistance for adults ages 25 and up and frontline workers.

The funding also will repair or replace 100 local bridges, clean up polluted sites, fix aging dams and replace lead water lines in Benton Harbor and other communities.

Whitmer deems some COVID-19 budget sections unconstitutional

Whitmer deemed some Republican-backed budget provisions as unconstitutional attempts to restrict COVID-19 health measures but has allowed language limiting government vaccination requirements.

The moves Wednesday came in conjunction with her signing the budget.

Whitmer had already promised to block attempts to ban local mask mandates. She also addressed proposed exemptions for students at universities with coronavirus vaccine mandates by saying the schools are independent.

Whitmer seems OK with limiting state and municipal vaccine mandates because the provision doesn’t apply to hospitals and recognizes President Joe Biden will implement a “soft” mandate for large employers.

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