LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer blasted Republican lawmakers during a forum for leaving an unfinished state budget and going on vacation.
Whitmer said she's angry that lawmakers are on vacation instead of finishing the state's budget - which is due in 97 days. She said they should be staying in town to resolve budget differences to meet the October 1 deadline and says, if this were any other job, they wouldn't be able to leave.
"No one in Michigan, no one in any field is allowed to go on a vacation until they get their work done," Whitmer said.
But GOP Senate Leader Mike Shirkey said no one should be upset, and they're not on vacation.
"Anybody who claims we're on vacation obviously has their head someplace that I'd prefer not to mention," Shirkey said. "I've got over half of my caucus working today specifically on the budget and roads."
Governor Whitmer says lawmakers have been in session 42 days since the first of the year and Republicans have offered some budget decisions - which her budget director, Chris Kolb, dismisses as unreal.
"It's not really a real budget. They put together phony cuts, there's over $237 million cuts in the House which really aren't real. They've used fund shifts, they make administrative cuts, but they don't name them. It's time to get serious and come together," said Kolb.
The governor demands that if the GOP doesn't like her ideas, they should present alternatives.
"I wouldn't be having this open forum if I wasn't angry about the fact that the legislature has done nothing in terms of an alternative solution to our infrastructure crisis in Michigan," Whitmer said.
Shirkey, however, implores the governor and others to be patient.
"This is the beginning of a long negotiation process, so I don't think everyone should get upset and all tied up in their underpants over our scheduling right now," Shirkey said.
With that statement, Whitmer questioned where the Michigan Republicans were getting talking points.
"I don't even know how to weigh in on that quote," Whitmer said. "And as for salacious talking points, I don't know if they're getting tips from the White House but I'm not going to engage beyond that."