A new Michigan law means no governor can unilaterally decide to make budgetary transfers.
Under the new law, Public Act 161 of 2019, the governor and Legislature must work together when using the State Administrative Board for budgetary transfers.
Additionally, under the new Public Act 160 of 2019, the Legislature must submit a budget to the governor by July 1. The final budget would still be due Oct. 1. This reform is a three-month buffer to ensure any lingering disagreements are sorted out before critical programs are impacted, State Rep. Ben Frederick said.
"This reform should help restore faith in Michigan’s government by ensuring that no governor – present or future – could eliminate funding for essential state programs without going through a transparent process that gives legislators and the public an opportunity to weigh in,” Frederick said in a release.
Late last year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used the State Administrative Board and shifted $625 million that defunded programs that aim to help children in foster care, child sexual abuse victims and at-risk youth.
Frederick (R-Owosso) co-sponsored the legislation.
“This year’s budget cycle was challenging – and a perfect example of why we need these reforms,” Frederick said in a press release. "No governor - Republican or Democrat - should ever be allowed to unilaterally shift millions of dollars in taxpayer money without any oversight or accountability like Gov. Whitmer did.”