Gov. Whitmer Discusses Impact of Coronavirus Fight on State Budget
The state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the coronavirus response and paid out billions in unemployment.
The state’s budget director said the state hasn’t seen a financial challenge like this since the great recession.
Michigan will face budget challenge in the coming months, the governor reiterated Thursday she wants to avoid cuts if possible, especially in areas like education.
“We know that if we have to sustain cuts because the federal government doesn’t help us, that they are going to hit critical areas that maybe you’re even more important in a pandemic like public safety, public health,” said Whitmer.
Both Governor Whitmer and the state budget director said Michigan will need federal help to fill holes in the state budget.
“Right now the language the CARES Act doesn’t not allowed the states the ability to use the money for existing items in the budget even if they’ve been effected by lost revenue due to COVID 19. Congress needs to come together soon so Michigan and every state across our country can account for the COVID impact to our existing budget,” said Whitmer.
The governor also addressed recently surfaced emails showing her office gave the go ahead to a now cancelled contract for a Michigan company to do contact tracing.
That company had ties to the Democratic party.
“When I found out about the contracts I told them to cancel it, and I found out about it after it had been entered into by the department,” said Whitmer.
The governor said Thursday her top three budget priorities are schools, funding public safety and funding for vaccine research.
But again needs federal help to avoid cuts in those areas.