Governor's Veto Jeopardizes Prisoner Reimbursement Program

May 27

July 8, 2003                                                                                

             Lansing, MI—Today, Governor Granholm vetoed a prisoner reimbursement incentive program that would have allowed the Attorney General’s office to collect additional money from prisoners to cover their cost of care. Granholm vetoed this line-item appropriation in the 2003 Supplemental Budget despite its inclusion in Granholm’s 2004 budget.   

“In the midst of a budget crisis, this veto sends the wrong message to the People of Michigan.  How can we ask taxpayers to pick up additional costs for the State when we are unwilling to have convicts pick up their own costs for room and board?” questioned Cox.  “This veto squashes a new source of revenue from prisoners and takes that money directly out of taxpayers’ pockets.” 

Attorney General Cox has restructured the prisoner reimbursement program and increased staff in an effort to have prisoners pick up their own costs that have traditionally been footed by taxpayers.  The prisoner reimbursement program has Attorney General staff identify prisoners with significant assets and mandates these prisoners to pick up some of the costs for their room and board while in prison, instead of having taxpayers cover those expenses. 

“Michigan taxpayers pay for their own room and board, prisoners that can afford it should pay for their own room and board, too,” stated Cox.  “The Attorney General’s Office continually seeks innovative ways to obtain new sources of revenue for Michigan. This is a definite setback.”

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For further information contact: Sage Eastman
517-373-8060 (Office)
State of Michigan, Department of Attorney General