Rep. Ben Frederick, R-Owosso, said the board’s ability to re-appropriate funds in bills already passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor is “absurd.” HB 4082, passed on a 58-49 vote, aims to limit the ability of the government to transfer certain funds through the state administrative board. The bill ties supplemental funding for frontline workers and childcare in HB 4409 and supplemental budget bill 4420 to HB 4669, which aims to create a new restricted fund in the state treasury, the Transportation Bond Repayment Sinking Fund. The bill “is a reasonable statutory fix to restore the appropriation process,” he said.
O’Malley said nearly a quarter-million businesses in Michigan fall into this category. “We’ve seen people’s livelihoods taken apart by the pandemic and the orders issued in response,” he said on the House floor. “People in my district have worked decades to raise up their small business, and it’s truly their life work.”
“This bill is going to help our job providers; it’s going to level the playing field for that small guy, as larger businesses in Michigan can already do this,” O’Malley said. Rep. Jack O’Malley, R-Lake Ann, supported the bill seeking to give small businesses a tax dedication.
Democratic Minority House Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Twp, accused the GOP of “playing games” with frontline workers by tying funding to another bill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer likely won’t sign. The House passed HB 4420 on a vote of 65-42. The bill seeks to appropriate $3.3 billion gross, $1 billion from the state’s general fund, and $2.3 billion is from federal stimulus funding. Increase or decrease an item of appropriation by more than 3% or $125,000, whichever is greater.Increase or decrease an item of appropriation by more than $200,000 in the aggregate.
The bill aims to require House and Senate Appropriations committee approval from the State Administrative Board to transfer: In 2019, Whitmer used the board — comprised of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, state superintendent and the Department of Transportation director — to transfer roughly $600 million between departments, bypassing the legislature.
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