Budget battle: GOP budget offers millions less for redistricting commission

Sep 27, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been presented a budget by the state Legislature, and one area Whitmer might have an issue with the budget is the state’s new redistricting commission.

Last November, Michigan’s voters approved a ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission. That commission costs money, for example to pay the salaries of the board members.

Whitmer’s budget proposed more than $4 million for the commission — but the budget headed for her desk calls for less than that. The Republican-led Legislature sent her a budget that cuts her proposal by about a third.

“The Legislature is playing games,” says Jamie Lyons Eddy, director of campaigns and programs for Voters Not Politicians. That’s the group that was behind the original ballot proposal.

Lyons Eddy says this move would go against the will of the people because, “They expected a fully funded redistricting commission and this cuts the redistricting budget by over a million dollars.”

But Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield says the Legislature did what it was supposed to do.

“This is simply following the law, which what was required by the Legislature with what was put on the ballot,” he says.