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Legislative Inaction Forces State Government Shutdown
September 28, 2007
September 28, 2007
Granholm details impact to citizens, reiterates call for comprehensive solution
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that while she remains committed to protecting the health and safety of Michigan residents during a government shutdown, citizens will be impacted if legislators fail to act before Monday. Granholm made the announcement as she continues to negotiate with state lawmakers who have yet to approve a comprehensive solution to the state's budget crisis.
"Seven months ago, I proposed a comprehensive solution that would have resolved the state's budget crisis through a combination of budget cuts, government reforms, and new revenue," Granholm said. "Since then, the Legislature has failed to agree on my solution or any other. Their failure to act has brought us to this day. They need to act with urgency on a balanced budget and send the bills to my desk."
The governor has pledged to work with lawmakers as long as it takes to resolve the budget crisis but said that without an agreement, the state must initiate a government shutdown today, since it is the last business day of the current fiscal year. The new fiscal year begins Monday, October 1.
Government shutdown details include, but are not limited to:
AGRICULTURE: All Department of Agriculture activities will stop during a government shutdown, except livestock vehicle inspections at the Mackinac Bridge, which are required to maintain the Upper Peninsula's Tuberculosis-free designation for cattle. During the shutdown, food safety inspections, recall effectiveness checks, gas pump inspections, animal disease monitoring, and migrant labor camp inspections will stop; agriculture export and cattle movement permits will not be issued; and horse racing will shutdown. Exports from Michigan to foreign countries would essentially cease should state government shut down. Commodities affected include dry beans, logs and lumber, nursery stock, grain, fruits, and vegetables.
THE COURTS: The Michigan Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals will continue to operate with a limited staff to handle emergency matters.
CIVIL RIGHTS: All Department of Civil Rights activities will stop during a government shutdown. Residents wishing to file a discrimination complaint will be able to leave a message at 1-800-482-3604 with the details of their complaint. For purposes of meeting the 180-day legal requirement, the message will constitute an official notice of the intention to file a complaint. Residents calling Civil Right's Crisis Response Hotline to report a hate crime or bias incident may also leave a message, although they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement for immediate assistance.
COMMUNITY HEALTH: A number of operations within the Department of Community Health will be maintained to ensure that the health of our citizens is protected. State mental health facilities will remain open with reduced staffing, though voluntary, non-court admissions will be suspended. Critical laboratory services will operate to ensure newborn screenings are completed in a timely manner, and threats of immediate harm can be addressed. Limited Medicaid support will be available to approve emergency medical prior-authorizations and review exception requests for medications and medical procedures. The DCH also will maintain the toll-free number to register nursing home complaints of a serious nature.
CORRECTIONS: Department of Corrections functions will continue as needed to protect the safety of Michigan citizens. The state's prisons, prison camps, and parole/probation monitoring will continue to operate, though at a reduced staffing level. Administrative operations outside of the prisons will shut down.
EDUCATION: All Department of Education operations will shut down, except for the Michigan School for the Deaf. If Department of Education employees have not returned to work by mid-October, the state school aid payment due on October 22 will not be made.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: The Department of Environmental Quality will maintain only limited staff during the shutdown period to meet U.S. Department of Homeland Security air- monitoring requirements and process critical drinking water samples to address the most immediate public health concerns. All other department functions will shut down. This means no permits (air quality, surface water discharge, wetlands, dredging, etc.) will be processed and no environmental complaints will be received or investigated. The Pollution Emergency Alerting System will be operational, but the department will have extremely limited ability to respond to emergencies reported through that system.
HISTORY, ARTS & LIBRARIES: All Department of History, Arts and Libraries operations will shut down except security and emergency monitoring services at the Mackinac Island Airport and public areas. The Library of Michigan, the Michigan Historical Museum, and historic sites around Michigan will be closed. Mackinac Island paid admission sites will close and garbage and manure pick-up and road maintenance will cease.
HUMAN SERVICES: Critical Department of Human Services' operations will be maintained to protect the safety of children, families, and vulnerable adults. Most local offices will remain open with a small percentage of field staff on the job to respond to child protective services and adult protective services emergencies; make emergency foster care placements; and process emergency payments for evictions, lack of utilities, lack of food, etc. Cash assistance, food assistance, child day care, adoption subsidies, and foster care payments will continue, but no new applications will be processed (except for emergencies as described above). Child support payments received from non-custodial parents will be sent to families; and the state's juvenile justice facilities will operate and will be staffed to protect the safety of residents.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: A limited number of Department of Information Technology personnel will be needed to maintain state operating systems and to provide technical support for those services that will continue.
LABOR & ECONOMIC GROWTH: The majority of Department of Labor & Economic Growth operations will be shut down. Most of the Unemployment Insurance Agency will be closed, however, unemployment checks will continue to be processed and new applications can be made over the phone or via the Internet. In addition, the Michigan Career & Technical Institute in Plainwell and the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center in Kalamazoo will continue to provide education and training for disabled individuals.
LOTTER & GAMING: Lottery sales will end at the close of business on September 30, 2007. Players will not be able to purchase or redeem winning tickets. Minimal staff will maintain drawings due to the advance sale of tickets. State gaming inspectors will be idled as well, forcing the state-licensed casinos in Detroit to close.
MANAGEMENT & BUDGET: A limited number of Department of Management and Budget personnel will maintain state-owned buildings.
MICHIGAN STATE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: The Michigan State Housing Development Authority will be closed during shutdown and all operations will stop.
MILITARY & VETERANS AFFAIRS: The MVA State Finance and State Human Resource offices will be closed. The state's two veterans' homes in Grand Rapids and Marquette will continue operating with reduced staffing but will maintain the minimum staffing as required by law. The Youth Challenge Program will also remain operational but with minimum staff. Feeding and education will be provided by the Battle Creek Public Schools, an established partner of the Challenge Program. The state's 44 National Guard armories, six National Guard training sites, and National Guard administrative offices are federally funded and will remain open.
NATURAL RESOURCES: All DNR operations will be shut down, except a minimal crew to maintain the state's six fish hatcheries and a small contingent of forest firefighters needed to continue containment operations at the Sleeper Lakes fire in the Upper Peninsula and to respond to other fire emergencies. Shutdown will require that all state parks, recreation areas, DNR visitor centers and state forest campgrounds be closed, including day use areas. Citizens with camping reservations at a state park or recreation area during the duration of the shutdown will be eligible for a refund. The sale of hunting and fishing licenses may be delayed if technical problems with the state server prevent processing, and gated boat access sites will not be accessible. In addition, timber will not be marked for sale or sold. The archery deer season set to open on October 1 will proceed, however, deer check stations will not be operating.
SECRETARY OF STATE: Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land has indicated that branch offices will be closed during the shutdown. License plate renewal will be available via the Web, self-service stations, and touch-tone phone in the event of a shutdown.
STATE POLICE: The Michigan State Police will continue to protect Michigan citizens during shutdown. Though all MSP posts will be closed to the public, a limited number of troopers will be maintained to provide critical law enforcement services across the state. Administrative and specialized operations will be curtailed, resulting in the cessation of crime lab services, commercial vehicle enforcement, drug and criminal investigations, detective services, disaster assistance, and casino gaming oversight.
TRANSPORTATION: All road construction, routine maintenance, and administrative operations will stop. The state's rest areas will be closed. In addition, six of the state's lift bridges, in compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations, will be locked in the up position, allowing only water traffic to pass. Those bridges are located in Manistee, Bay City, St Joseph, Port Huron and Detroit. The Mackinac Bridge, the International Bridge, and Blue Water Bridge will remain operational.
TREASURY: Department of Treasury operations will cease during a shutdown, including the Michigan Lottery, Casino Gaming Control Board, Michigan Education Trust, and the Michigan Education Savings Plan programs. A prolonged shutdown would delay revenue sharing payments to local units of government, school aid and higher education payments, and financial aid payments. A limited number of staff would be maintained to process incoming receipts and outgoing critical payments (including cash assistance, unemployment benefits, and debt service on bonds).
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