Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $79 billion budget proposal, a record high for the state should it pass, comes with an onslaught of support for progressive causes and programs.
In 17 different proposed department budgets, Whitmer directs that “No money appropriate . . . shall be used to restrict or interfere with actions related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); to restrict or impede marginalized community’s access to government resources, programs or facilities; or to diminish, interfere with, or restrict an individual’s ability to exercise the right to reproductive freedom.”
First reported by The Midwesterner, the language, which is also featured in Whitmer’s Education omnibus, is included in a large swath of department budgets, from police and prison funding to educational, health and transportation appropriations.
Proposed by Whitmer in February, the budget for fiscal year 2024 has yet to be picked up by the Democrat-controlled state legislature. The $79 billion proposal would be the state’s highest ever should it pass and comes as the state’s surplus is projected to exceed $9 billion.
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Whitmer’s protection in the budget for “reproductive freedom” comes after she used her line-item veto power last summer to eliminate millions in funding from Republicans that was included in a general government budget bill to promote alternatives to abortion.
That funding, according to Bridge Michigan, included “$10 million Republicans had included for marketing programs that promote adoption as an alternative to abortion, $2 million in tax credits for adoptive parents and $3 million for a ‘maternal navigator pilot program’ that would be run by a nonprofit that ‘promotes childbirth and alternatives to abortion.
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At the time, Whitmer’s office also announced the governor’s plan to veto $1.5 million in funding that Republicans had included for pregnancy resource centers and $700,000 for Real Alternatives, a non-profit based in Pennsylvania.
Whitmer’s push for a more progressive Michigan comes as she requires healthcare workers in the state to participate in “implicit bias” training sessions, which encourages healthcare workers to admit they are biased, and teaches them that Black people, overweight women and people with non-Western names are among those who face obstacles to success in America.
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As reported by Fox News Digital last month, the training sessions ask participants to identify their closest coworkers and then describe their race, ethnicity and physical appearance in an attempt to make them realize that their choice of company in the workplace may reveal bias, and encourage them to “get out of your comfort zone.”
Whitmer’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment about the language used in the budget.
Fox News’ Patrick Hauf contributed to this article.