Governor Calls for Budget Cuts to Watchdog Group Who Failed Her

( – Michigan’s Democrat governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is introducing a proposal to defund the Office of the Auditor General — a nonpartisan watchdog group — after it exposed several failures stemming from her administration.

The failures date back to 2022, when the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency received a failing grade after auditors discovered that recruiters were skipping background checks for employees. It also failed to revoke the access of former employees to the system used to process and distribute $36 billion to recipients. The lax security came despite the state spending nearly $61 million building and implementing the system.

A separate audit revealed that the Michigan Department of Education repeatedly broke state laws by failing to fingerprint 4% of contractors working with its schools. It also discovered that 7% were not completed within lawful time constraints. The fingerprints are reportedly used to monitor contractors for possible criminal activities and convictions.

The office also concluded that the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency also failed to adequately enforce regulations after receiving complaints in a timely manner. The agency was found to take nearly 200 days to take action, and sometimes, it took nearly two years. The audit concluded that the agency’s operations need to be streamlined and become more efficient.

Doug Gingler, the auditor general, sent a letter to several Michigan legislators, both Democrat and Republican, claiming that he was never notified that his agency’s budget was being reduced. Even more concerning, he claimed his office was never given a reason for the budget cut. Whitmer’s proposal would reduce their budget by over $8 million. He’s requesting that the legislators prevent the budget cut.

Republican state representative Matt Hall, who was among the legislators addressed in Gingler’s letter, accused Whitmer of engaging in an “intentional attack” against the office out of anger. She also said Whitmer wants to ensure that “no one is checking her homework.”

House Speaker Joe Tate, who was also addressed in Doug Gingler’s letter, said his office is reviewing the budget cut. He also said that it’s currently early in the budgeting process.

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