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Budget battle: GOP budget reduces new redistricting commission funds by $1 million

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Flickr User Jim Bowen
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been presented a budget by the state Legislature, but one area where 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 proposal called for more than four million dollars 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,” said 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 said 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 said 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 said.