State Rep. John Reilly of Oakland Township today introduced a plan to help reverse Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s devastating cuts to local public safety agencies.
Reilly’s legislation would restore the nearly $15 million Whitmer eliminated from a county jail reimbursement program in a round of vetoes for the new budget year that began Oct. 1. The fund – compensating counties for housing state prisoners in their jails – contains money the state committed to paying, and that many communities rely on for a variety of law enforcement and other services.
“This money is promised from the state. Counties plan on it and rely on it when doing their budgets,” Reilly said of the reimbursement program that began in 1989. “My legislation reverses the governor’s irresponsible cuts and continues a program that should not have been disrupted.”
Counties around the state already are discussing potential law enforcement layoffs because of Whitmer’s cuts to the jail reimbursement and other public safety programs.
In Oakland County alone, the jail reimbursement program provided more than $1.6 million in the 2018 fiscal year.
In addition to harming local government budgets and services, eliminating the money would cause problems at the state level. Transferring inmates from county jails back to state prisons would cause scheduling logjams in courts and crowding in state prisons.
“Protecting the peace is an essential role of government – but the governor is jeopardizing it through her reckless pursuit of a massive gasoline tax increase Michigan does not want and does not need,” Reilly said. “It’s wrong to force this colossal burden on our counties, courts and corrections officers as leverage in budget negotiations. My legislation will reverse the governor’s dangerous budget cuts and restore this important county jail program.”
The legislation is House Bill 5122.