Michigan lawmakers were unable to reach a budget compromise last week, missing the Oct. 1 deadline, causing a brief two-hour shutdown of the state government.
The shutdown occurred after GOP and Democratic officials disagreed over final budget deals. Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a 30-day budget continuation so the state could get up and running again.
The temporary budget, which expires Oct. 31, marks the first time in over 30 years Michigan has used a budget continuation.
The Governor is expected to veto parts of the budget that eliminate programs such as the Michigan Promise, as well as cuts in funding to local police and fire services, and reduced funding to bringing new jobs to the state.
In a prepared statement Gov. Granholm stated, “Our future demands a budget that helps diversify our economy and create jobs, a budget that keeps police and fire officers on the streets of our communities, a budget that helps our kids afford to go to college.”
One of the Governor’s biggest concerns in the budget deliberations is the cut to the state’s Promise Scholarship Program, which provides college scholarships for Michigan students.
“I think it’s terrible that Michigan is taking away this money,” said sophomore Jessica Slattery. “I worked hard in high school to get good grades and this scholarship is a big part of why I chose a Michigan school. My parents are not paying for school, I am. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to pay for the last $1,000.”
Slattery is one of over 50,000 eligible Michigan students that will be affected if the program is cut from the state budget.
However, many believe that should Granholm veto cutting the program, Michigan’s Congress does not have the votes to override her.