Zorn supports restoring many of governor’s budget cuts

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Wednesday voted to restore more than $570 million of the fiscal year 2020 budget vetoes and transfers made by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“Due to the governor’s games, the state budget is now in overtime with the Michigan people hopeful for a positive result,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I supported this partial restoration of the governor’s cuts and transfers because this funding is critically needed by our local governments, students, veterans, vulnerable children and more. It’s not everything we need, but it’s a start to restoring a responsible budget for all Michigan residents.”

After signing the state budget, the governor issued a historic 147 line-item vetoes to cut nearly $950 million in funding approved by the Legislature. She then used an administrative board to transfer $625 million in additional funding.

Senate Bills 376 and 377 would restore a total of $573.5 million of the governor’s vetoed funding and administrative funding transfers, including $38 million for the Michigan Tuition Grant program, $1.6 million for autism, $4 million in county veterans services, $13 million for county sheriff secondary road patrols, $14.8 million for county jail reimbursements, and $35 million to restore the per-pupil increase for public charter schools.

“I was very disappointed with the governor’s budget actions. They were wrong and set a terrible precedent,” Zorn said. “Her cuts hurt real people. I support restoring this important funding, but I will also work on a solution to ensure that Michigan families are not leveraged again for political gain.”

If left unrestored, the governor’s cuts will mean nearly 900 Siena Heights University students and almost 700 Adrian College students would lose their tuition grant. The governor’s cuts to county sheriff secondary road patrols would cost Lenawee County $103,000 and Monroe County $147,305 — forcing the elimination of patrol positions — and the cuts to the County Jail Reimbursement Program would cost Monroe County $160,000 and Lenawee County $27,000.

The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.