LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – While attending the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island last week , Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer sat down with Rick Albin from West Michigan’s WOOD TV8 to talk about the budget.
He asked her about having to negotiate the budget, even with her own party, to which she responded, “The legislature is the legislature and the executive branch is the executive branch no matter who’s running either. We don’t all see eye to eye. We’re going to have to negotiate some things in the budget but I still anticipate that we will get it done well in advance of July 1st.”
Albin also asked her about the bipartisanship needed for a budget and he asked how much consideration is being given to the minority party to which she said, “I think a lot…I know that the legislature has pulled in the minority and that they’ve had ample opportunity to work on the budget together at that level.”
The governor added that budgets need to be bipartisan and she went on to say, “The whole time I was in the legislature, I voted for every budget…I had certain feelings on different sub-budgets within an omnibus but at the end of the day if you want to fund schools, if you want to make sure hospitals stay open and that cops and first responders have the resources they need, we’ve got to get these budgets done and give them immediate effect.”
However, Michigan News Source found that Whitmer, in fact, didn’t vote yes for every budget. While she might have cast a vote every time, her statement to Albin was to imply that she voted yes for the budget every time. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Gretchen Whitmer was in the Michigan House of Representatives from January 2001 to January 2003 and then again from January 2003 to March 2006. After that, she was a state senator from March 2006 to January 2015.
Additionally, on the educational front, Bridge Michigan has reported many no votes from Whitmer on education budgets during her legislative tenure, reportedly because she didn’t like where the money was going. Bridge Michigan uncovered the following: “The record says Whitmer voted against every budget that sent school aid fund money to community colleges or higher education. She did so for budgets for 2011-12 and 2012-13 which, according to the Senate Fiscal agency, sent more than $850 million from the school aid fund to community colleges and universities. Whitmer was likewise a no vote in 2013-14, and again in 2014-15.”
Michigan News Source reached out to the governor’s office for comment on this but they did not respond to our request. However, her office did reach out to WOOD TV8 to clarify her remarks. They told the media outlet that she was referring to immediate effect, not necessarily the budget itself. However, those votes cannot be verified because most of those votes are not by roll call and there is no record of their existence.