GOP election report moves Trump; Budget Bill Passes House: Michigan Policy Week
LANSING, MI – The Michigan House and Senate each passed bills this week, including the state’s long-negotiated negotiated budget, approved in the House with a significant increase in funding for schools.
As budget talks between the two houses and the governor’s office continue, the Michigan Senate has drafted a bill to delay the July 1 statutory budget deadline if necessary.
Here is more information on all of the latest Michigan policy developments:
House passes budget bill, but Senate fate remains uncertain
In bipartisan votes late Thursday night, Michigan House approved budget bills with a big increase in funding for K-12 schools – but whether the legislature can reach a final agreement on the funds before their date self-imposed July 1 limit remains in the air.
The deal that was passed by the House was negotiated with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration, and the governor welcomed its passage in a statement. But the Senate was not immediately on board, adjourning until Wednesday, June 30. Talks between the House and the Senate are ongoing.
Read more: Michigan House approves a big boost for schools in the budget vote, but the Senate is yet to agree.
Under budget legislation passed by the House, funding for K-12 schools stands at approximately $ 16.7 billion, up nearly 8% from current year spending levels. The plan would completely eliminate the per-student funding gap between school districts – all K-12 school districts in Michigan would get $ 8,700 per student – and schools would get a minimum of $ 1,093 per student in federal funding in the event of a pandemic.
The general fund budget under House bills includes a 2% increase in statutory revenue sharing for local governments, but is otherwise similar to current year spending. Some budget issues remain unresolved under the House’s budget proposal, including funding for community colleges and universities and how to allocate additional federal funds available to the state.
Parliamentary leaders look forward to meeting the July 1 statutory deadline agreed in 2019 to determine a comprehensive state budget and school funding plan. But funding to equalize the amount of spending per student for each school district remains a sticking point in the Senate.
Last week, the Michigan Senate prepared a bill to delay the July 1 statutory budget deadline if necessary. If it is delayed again, it would be the second consecutive budget cycle in which lawmakers have missed the statutory deadline.
Under the state’s constitution, lawmakers have until September 30 to develop a budget. But schools and local government leaders, who typically operate on a different fiscal year schedule, have long supported early passage of budget bills so that they have better clarity on what they will get from the budget. State.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Senate Appropriations Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said he is committed to working with House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, and has not ruled out the possibility of reaching an agreement by July 1.
Trump attacks Michigan Republicans over election report
Former President Donald Trump targeted two Michigan Republican lawmakers in a statement released Thursday after a report led by Senator Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, debunked several false claims about the 2020 election results.
Trump’s email was sent to supporters’ inboxes a day after a Michigan Senate committee released a report Wednesday morning that found no evidence of systematic voter fraud in the general election in 2020.
In the statement, Trump called the report – which used hours of public testimony and “countless” documents to conclude that the 2020 general election was free from fraud – a “cover-up.”
“Michigan State Senators Mike Shirkey and Ed McBroom are doing all they can to stop voter audits in order to hide the truth about Nov. 3,” the former president wrote.
Read more: Trump attacks Michigan Republicans after report finds no evidence of voter fraud
Trump rehashed the Detroit polling conspiracy theories, which were at the center of unsubstantiated fraud allegations last November.
“The truth will come out and RINO will pay at the polls, especially with the primary voters and the challenges expected,” Trump said.
Trump ended the statement Thursday by leaving the phone numbers at Shirkey and McBroom’s office.
“Call these two senators now and ask them to do the right thing, or vote them to be removed from office!” Trump said.
The truth about the 2020 presidential election – that President Joe Biden rightfully won the state by 154,000 votes – was not unequivocally adopted by many Michigan Republican leaders until the led report was announced. by Republicans last week.
Still, a Republican in the Three Rivers House told reporters this week he was unsure whether Joe Biden’s victory in November was legal or not.
State House Representative Steve Carra R-Three Rivers on Tuesday introduced Bill 5091, which would create a bipartisan audit committee to review the 2020 general election, to complete what it described as a forensic audit.
Controversial Election Bills Passing Through Legislative Assembly
The House on Wednesday approved a controversial measure to require voters to show ID to vote, also building on a provision that would require election officials to verify voters’ signatures during polls.
As amended by the House, Senate Bills 303 and 304 remove the ability for voters to sign affidavit of identity instead of providing official photo ID at polling stations. Instead, a potential voter who showed up without ID would receive a provisional ballot and later have to prove their identity to their local clerk to have their vote counted.
Read more: Signature review, identification requirement for voting approved at Michigan House
Another change in the House would require election workers to compare a voter’s signature with signatures scanned in the state’s Qualified Voters Register. If an election worker determines that the signatures do not match, voters should vote provisionally and confirm their identities with local clerks within six days of the election.
Supporters of the measure say the changes would make Michigan’s election safer. But the legislation was passed 58-52 against opposition from House Democrats, who said the measures would put up additional barriers, especially for minority voters.
“These are nothing but modern Jim Crow laws created to mute the already voiceless,” said State Representative Tenisha Yancey D-Harper Woods. “These bills will only create more obstacles for those who already had so many obstacles to be able to retain their right to vote.”
The Senate votes to end the federal unemployment supplement
The Michigan Senate on Tuesday voted to remove the federal unemployment supplement of $ 300 per week providing extra money to people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
House Bill 4434, which cleared Michigan House last week, was presented by Republicans who supported the bill as a step towards “normalcy” as the state ends its COVID-19 restrictions, arguing that the measure would help small businesses boost hiring amid a crippling labor shortage.
As it’s written now, the legislation would end all additional federal COVID-19 unemployment benefits – including the PUA and PEUC programs – effective July 31. If passed, Michigan would join 26 states that cut additional benefits by $ 300 per week, 20 of which cut all federal benefits.
Read more: Michigan Senate votes to end the $ 300-per-week federal unemployment supplement early
The bill was passed by the Senate 19-16 over objections from Senate Democrats, whose attempts to amend the bill on the ground were unsuccessful.
However, the legislation did not have immediate effect, meaning that even if Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed it, existing benefits would not end until they expired on September 6.
Whitmer, who has spoken out in favor of continuing to use federal funding to stimulate the state’s economic recovery, would likely veto the bill.
Jewell Jones violates obligation after providing “less than honest” information to court
After providing ‘less than honest information’ to a court, State Representative Jewell Jones D-Inkster avoided jail on Thursday but was ordered to undergo drug and alcohol tests for breaking the terms of his bond.
Livingston County District Judge Daniel Bain ordered the 26-year-old lawmaker to wear an ankle alcohol monitor, comply with all the terms and conditions of his bail and get tested immediately drug after Thursday’s hearing.
The orders stem from an arrest for impaired driving in April in Handy County. Jones faces charges of impaired driving, resisting police, possession of a weapon under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving.
Read more: Michigan Lawmaker Jewell Jones Charged With Resisting Police, Possession Of Gun During “Super Drunk” Traffic Stop
Livingston County Assistant District Attorney Christina Richards had recommended Jones be convicted of contempt of court, alleging he was excused from drug and alcohol testing under false pretenses.
Bain said the only reason he signed the order allowing Jones to forgo drug and alcohol testing was because he felt like he would be living at Camp Grayling throughout his training at the National Guard.
Jones was unaware he was required to notify the court when leaving the camp, his lawyer said.
“I think when you went to Camp Grayling you knew you were going to keep your commitments with the House,” Bain said. “You’ve been deceptive with your own lawyer, less than candid with the DA’s office and with this court.”
Read more: State Representative Jewell Jones Sentenced to Drug and Alcohol Testing for Bail Breach