LANSING, Mich. — State Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter MacGregor on Thursday urged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to restore $2 million of critical funding for the West Michigan Partnership for Children (WMPC).
“Governor Whitmer’s action will have an immediate, direct and harmful impact on 850 foster youth and families throughout west Michigan and in Kent County specifically,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Through a rare administrative transfer — not a veto — the governor recklessly took $2 million in vital funding from the West Michigan Partnership for Children and moved it elsewhere.
“It is now clear that her move was made purely out of spite because she didn’t get her undesirable 45 cent gas tax increase. The governor removed it; she needs to restore it.”
The West Michigan Partnership for Children works to ensure that Kent County children who are removed from their homes because of abandonment, abuse, or neglect are placed in safe, familylike settings with culturally responsive and trauma-informed services.
“Currently, this is the only foster care system in Kent County and to transition away from this would be a lengthy, disruptive, and challenging process for those children and families receiving services,” MacGregor said. “In one motion, the governor has effectively killed this program and closed the door to these kids and families in need. As this is the only foster care system in Kent County, there is no backup system in place.
“The only person who can restore this funding is Governor Whitmer. The Legislature has no role in the transfer of funds via the State Administrative Board. The governor needs to take a long look in the mirror and decide whether she really wants to use foster kids as a pawn in her political game of tug of war.
“With the voices of hundreds of foster youth and dedicated staff behind me, I strongly urge Governor Whitmer to rescind this budget transfer and restore the vital funding to WMPC.”
For more information on the WMPC, visit www.wmpc.care.