Runestad supports bills restoring many of governor’s budget cuts

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad on Wednesday voted to restore more than $570 million of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fiscal year 2020 budget vetoes and transfers.

“The governor’s budget cuts were shutting down vital services to our most vulnerable residents and having a devastating effect on families most at risk,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “These budget supplemental bills will restore much of that funding, including money for drug treatment programs, local police departments and schools, and veterans programs.”

After signing the state budget, the governor authorized a historic 147 line-item vetoes to cut nearly $1 billion in funding approved by the Legislature. She then took advantage of a seldom-used administrative board to transfer $625 million to her own priorities.

Senate Bills 376 and 377 would restore a total of $573.5 million of the governor’s vetoed funding and administrative transfers.

Last month, Runestad called on the governor to restore funding for critical programs in Oakland County. He said he is hopeful the governor will now do so.

“The relationship between the administration and the Legislature has been strained recently, and it needs to be repaired,” Runestad said. “Signing these supplemental bills is not only the right thing to do; it also will demonstrate that the governor is willing to work in a bipartisan manner so that together we can move Michigan forward.”

SBs 376 and 377 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.