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Counties face $60M hit in flurry of vetos from governor


by Michigan Association of Counties

October 1, 2019


    In an unprecedented move, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday issued 147 line-item    vetoes in the FY20 budget, affecting more than $947 million in state spending. Although the 2.3 percent increase (about $5 million) for county revenue sharing evaded the vetoes, other line items for specific programs and services provided by counties were hit, stripping away  about $60 million in funding for county programs.                                                                              

"While we see that counties were collateral damage in a fight between the governor and 

the Legislature, there's no way to sugarcoat what $60 million in cuts mean to our members," said Stephan Currie, MAC executive director. "These are significant, troubling reductions.       We plan to make a vigorous case to both sides that these results need to be reversed as         quickly as possible with a supplemental appropriations bill."                                                           

Among the reductions to county services affected by Whitmer's moves are:

  • $27 million taken from the PILT  (payments in lieu of taxes) program that counties rely on to be compensated for public lands that do not pay taxes (49.5 percent of all land in Crawford County, for example, is owned by the state)

  • $14.9 million taken from the state's program to reimburse county jails for housing state inmates

  • $13 million taken from funds to aid sheriffs in providing road patrols around their counties

  • $4 million taken from funding to counties under the Child Care Fund, which covers Michigan's foster care system

  • $4 million taken from grants meant for county services to veterans

  • $2.7 million taken from      reimbursements for court-appointed guardians

  • $1 million taken from grants meant for county fairs and other exhibitions

How does this affect the Iosco County Sheriff's Office?

Effective Immediately, The Iosco County Sheriff's Deputy hired to conduct Traffic Enforcement on secondary roads has been laid off.  The grant was set to resume on October 1st, 2019, prior to the Governors budget cut.  The deputy patrolled county roads, other than M-55, M-65 and US23.  The deputy was very effective in patrolling areas of our county that rarely see law enforcement and handle numerous traffic crash investigations throughout the entire county.                                         

Also affected through the above budge cuts, was funding the Iosco County Jail received from the State of Michigan to house state inmates.  It is unknown at this time how the County will adapt to this significant funding loss.