From the Desk of Larry Orlowski & DSAM

The Michigan State Police budget passed Senate Appropriations Committee and is scheduled to be voted on by the full senate in approximately two weeks.  Within that budget there is a reduction (money grab) of 1.1 million dollars of Public Act 302 (law enforcement/corrections training money administered by MCOLES) money to be transferred into the State Police general fund.  The State of Michigan is some 1.5 billion dollars in the red with the 2010 budget.  The 1.1 million dollar money grab will be used to fund fourteen members of the Capitol Police unit which provides uniformed security at the Capitol building.  This unit is a part of the State Police.

Governor Granholm had eliminated this unit altogether in her budget recommendation and would have placed the people in the non-uniformed security unit. However, the State Police actively opposed the elimination and Senator Valde Garcia (Rep. Howell) who Chairs the State Police and Military Affairs Committee in the Senate placed this language in the MSP budget to allow for the money grab.  Senator Garcia has advised that if the 1.1 million dollars doesn’t come out of P.A. 302 training monies then it will be taken from Public Act 416, Secondary Road Patrol monies.

Both P.A. 302 and P.A. 416 dollars are restricted funds which means that the money can only be used for what the statute says it can be used for.  However, legislation can be introduced and passed amending both Acts to do what Sen. Garcia wants.