The clock is counting down for budgets on Whitmer's desk

 Gov. Whitmer signs executive order Thursday. (Source: WILX).
Gov. Whitmer signs executive order Thursday. (Source: WILX). (WILX)
Published: Sep. 30, 2019 at 8:08 AM EDT
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The clock is ticking for Governor Gretchen Whitmer Monday morning.

Whitmer implied she would not shut down the government by vetoing any of the 16 bills on her desk, but the clock is counting down to midnight when the signed bills are due.

Whitmer could still use her line-item veto power to eliminate specific parts of the budget without actually allowing the state to shut down.

Republicans and Whitmer battled back and forth over the budget for roads.

That bill, passed by Republicans, puts an additional $400 million in a one-time funding for roads and bridges.

But Whitmer has said that is not enough.

State of Michigan employees have been notified that preparations for a government shutdown can cease.

Despite uncertainty surrounding when the bills will be signed, an email sent Friday to the State Department of Education employees from Superintendent Michael Rice said "Preparations for a potential state government shutdown can now stop."

"The notice of a temporary layoff provided last week is rescinded," Rice said. "There will be no temporary layoffs beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1 as a result of the government shutdown. You should report for work at your regularly scheduled time."

Rice described Michigan's budget cycle as "extremely challenging" and said the state's budget staff will be "working around the clock this weekend to finish getting all budgets ready."

Whitmer has several options with the state’s budget.

“The governor will be exercising the powers that she can to get our budget into the best possible shape with what has been presented,” Rice said.

No matter what actions Whitmer takes, Weiss said everything appears in place to avoid state departments from closing Tuesday.

When asked why he’s confident a shutdown has been averted, Weiss pointed to the bills now in Whitmer’s office.

“We can now do the work we need to do,” Weiss said.

Weiss said any supplemental spending bills for the state budget could be reviewed and possibly approved on or after Tuesday.

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