The Michigan Governor published an executive order today to officially defund the State Police and the Department of Corrections, among others. The order describes how she intends to cut nearly $620 million in total, most of it related to the state’s justice system. This order was rumored when she hinted at defunding the police early in June. A cut this deep will be tragic for the state’s future. The cuts now must be passed by the state’s legislature.
The order cuts almost $400 million from the state’s prison system. Michigan’s Department of Corrections has been panned in the news for glaring problems in the recent past. It’s unclear how removing such a huge portion of their budget can make things better. An underpaid food vendor was found to be serving maggots to inmates and was forced to pay millions in fines. Often these measure end up costing much more.
The next largest cut was $115 million taken from the Michigan State Police. Another $40 million is cut from the Health and Human Services. These are terrible places to save money. Without law and order in the state and without a prison system to hold convicted criminals the state is facing a grim future.
This executive order is well camouflaged among other major events in the state. A mask mandate by the Governor has been growing more strict as what started with fines and threats, not turns to vigilante enforcement of mask policies. Earlier today, Gretchen Whitmer encouraged citizens to “forcefully” make others wear masks. The vague but heated term has unclear meaning and puts people at risk.
Her comments are dangerous for a political leader. Enforcement of law is something for law enforcement officers or agents of the state. Citizen enforcement of the law is known as vigilante justice and is not acceptable in this country. The governor’s words aren’t clear and she uses harsh terms for how people should treat their fellow citizens.
Businesses who do not enforce the mask rules risk losing their business license. This places business owners in a precarious position of having to enforce rules that are ambiguous at best. The Michigan Retailers Association has expressed frustration with the Governor’s orders. CEO Bill Hallan said “that she did not leave the policing to law enforcement officers. This puts retail employees in potentially dangerous situations when they’re forced to confront unmasked customers.” Business owners must now decide if they want to hassle their customers or risk losing their license.