No, Gov. Whitmer has not defunded the Michigan State Police


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II marched with police brutality protesters in Highland Park and Detroit. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II marched with police brutality protesters in Highland Park and Detroit.

File this one under "fake news."

A tweet from a news site called Great Lakes News posted on Wednesday has been making the rounds on social media, claiming that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has defunded Michigan's police.

"BREAKING NEWS: @GovWhitmer has defunded the Michigan State Police and the prisons," the tweet says. "Executive Order 2020-155 slashes tens of millions from the Michigan State Police and Department of Corrections. Developing...."

The tweet has been shared thousands of times. Curiously, it doesn't link to a story, and no such story exists on the Great Lakes News website. (The tagline under the masthead reads: "Honest, Accurate, and Unbiased.")

Suffice it to say, this is fake news.

While Executive Order 2020-155 does call for $633 million in state budget cuts, including $113 million in spending on the Michigan State Police and $386 million in the corrections system, it will be replaced by federal dollars received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Whitmer's communications director Zack Pohl called the story out on Twitter.

"This garbage is the definition of fake news," he wrote.

Even Michigan's Senate GOP denounced the rumor.

"Senate Republicans would never agree to a budget that defunds the police," they wrote. "By using federal relief funds and cutting other state spending — including our own budget — we balanced a $2.2 billion deficit without significant reductions to public safety (or raising taxes)."

In follow-up tweets, Great Lakes News said Whitmer's office reached out to debunk the rumor. But the site maintains that "several sources within the Michigan State Police" say that while the department may be funded now, they don't know if the money will be there next year.

"We are in talks with Gov. Whitmer's office about what next year's budget looks like and how those budget holes will be filled," they wrote.

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