Shutdown Looming?

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

"If we run out of money and have to shut down government, in some form, some portions, it's a terrible message about Michigan," Governor Jennifer Granholm told a manufacturers' group Tuesday.

But it is the message that will be sent by June 1st, she said.

That's more than three weeks away, so just what would be shut down? A spokeswoman for the governor says it's too early to say.

What happened in New Jersey last year could give some indication. There, as in Michigan, a dispute between the governor and lawmakers over hiking the sales tax led to a government shut down.

It ended all road construction projects. Vehicle registration offices were closed, the lottery was suspended, and more than half the state's workforce was laid off.

That would be a concern for Michigan's employee unions.

"We are upset," union steward Steve Gilroy told News 10.

Gilroy and union colleagues are knocking on doors at the Capitol Wednesday to express concern about what layoffs would mean for employees and the economy.

"State workers aren't going to be able to make their mortage," he said. "They're not going to be able to make their car payments."

Amid all the talk over what a shutdown would mean, there is one more key question: could it actually happen?

"She doesn't have full authority to shut the government down," Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop said.

Bishop points out it's the legislature that hands out money to state departments. He says talk of a shutdown isn't necessary when bipartisan budget negotiations appear to be working.

"We're going to close that gap between now and the next two weeks, and probably sooner than that," Bishop said.

Such a deal would keep Michigan's government going if lawmakers and the governor can craft a compromise.

In New Jersey, the shutdown lasted just a week after lawmakers agreed to the governor's sales tax increase.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by vickie Location: Lansing on May 11, 2007 at 08:23 AM
    WHERE IS GRANHOLM'S HEAD? WHAT IS HER PROBLEM, WHY CAN'T SHE SEE OR HEAR WHAT THE PEOPLE ARE SAYING. LAY OFF THE LAWMAKERS. CLOSE DOWN THE LEGISLATURE BODY, WE DON'T NEED THEM. THEY HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING FOR THE TAX PAYING CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN. WE NEED TO WHEN THERE TERMS ARE UP, VOTE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM OUT, AND REPLACE THEM WITH THE TAX PAYING CITIZENS, LET US WORK FOR US. GRANHOLM NEEDS TO GO ALSO.
  • by Lisa Location: Lansing on May 11, 2007 at 06:58 AM
    Regardless of lay off days and reduction in services, we really need to address the political manuevering on both sides of this issue. It extends further than the budget issue and provides little advancement for the state of Michigan. I am sick to death of the power building and the lack of the elected officials to take a step back and really do what is right for in long term for Michigan.
  • by n p Location: lansing on May 11, 2007 at 06:05 AM
    All this talk about budget crisis is depressing to all of us. We face similar problems daily, on fixed incomes and trying to balance utilies, maintenance, health issues, taxes, and on and on. If we can manage to do with whatever we have, can't the legislators and government do the same? Can't they cut salaries of top officials, stop excess spending and think about why they were elected in the first place. They are supposed to be there to do a job for all of us, not glorify their own positions and spend so much time and money trying to remain in office. All the campaign money that is being spent for an election that is a year or more away is money that could be better spent helping the people in this state and country that need help from loss of jobs, weather related disasters, lack of education, and on and on. Perhaps we need another political party that is for the middle class Americans.
  • by Linda Location: MDE on May 10, 2007 at 11:40 AM
    just close ALL state offices (except hospitals etc) and ALL levels of employees for ONE or TWO days and close the buildings as well---that would safe lots of money and energy!!!
  • by Susan Location: Lansing on May 10, 2007 at 10:52 AM
    Does anyone realize how much money would not go back in the economy if the State should be shut down? I am a State employee and have lost my job before with the State due to cut backs. I for one will not be taking a vacation, filling my tank, buying a new car and going out to eat. I work in part of the State that brings in the revenue as the Treasury and Secretary of State. Why would you close something that is bringing in the cash? Lawmakers,I don't care what party you are, just do something and do it now. Raise the taxes if it is what we have to do. Maybe just do it until we are out of this intial mess. Or until you are all up for re-election and then we can make up our own minds.
  • by KIM Location: HILLSDALE on May 10, 2007 at 10:48 AM
    THE MAJORITY OF YOU JUST DON'T GET IT, DO YOU? GOVERNMENT IS JUST A FANCY NAME FOR BIG BUSINESS IE... WOLVERINE PIPELINE VS CITY OF LANSING..NEW LAW STATES THAT NO CITY SHALL HINDER THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC UTILITY WHEN MULTIPLE COMMUNITIES HAVE GIVEN APROVAL, WHEN THIS CONSTRUCTION WILL BENIFIT THE CONSUMER. HOW MUCH MONEY DID THE LEGISLATURE RECIEVE FROM WOLVERINE FOR THAT LAW AND WHY WASN'T THAT MONEY PUT INTO THE STATES BUDGET, OH I'M SORRY IT DID, THAT IS THE BUDGET THAT LINES THE LEGISLATURES POCKETS. I TELL YA CANADA LOOKS BETTER ALL THE TIME. nOW FOR A NEW FINANCIAL RANT: THE NEW MICHIGAN STATE RAFFLE, I WAS AT A LOCAL STORE HERE IN HILLSDALE AND WATCHED SOMEONE USE THEIR BRIDGE CARD, (FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS, IT'S A WELFARE CHECK DEBIT CARD) TO PURCHASE TICKETS, KICK THESE PEOPLE OFF WELFARE THAT'S NOT WHAT THE MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR , IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY 3 TICKETS AT A COST OF $50.00 A POP USING YOUR BRIDGE CARD THEN YOU DON'T NEED WELFARE.
  • by Sandi Location: Charlotte on May 10, 2007 at 09:45 AM
    I am a avid camper and used to go camping up north. Now it is getting harder to find somewhere to camp that doesn't cost a arm and leg. Just outside of Barryton there used to be 2 particular rustic camping sites and now they are closed. We can't afford to go very far and Granholm says vacation in Michigan, but yet she closed campgrounds, and the closed campgrounds are just sitting there growing up to weeds. Why not sell the land? The state of Michigan has alot of vacat land just sitting. Sell some!
  • by Ann Location: Lansing on May 10, 2007 at 09:45 AM
    I would like to know which legislators do and do not send their own children to Michigan public schools.
  • by Blondie on May 10, 2007 at 05:58 AM
    Adjust the retirement requirements for state employees. A simple 80 out would provide for significant cost savings and allow those who qualify the opportunity to move on - we've paid our dues!!! The mandatory age of 55 is keeping state workers on the payroll way too long.
  • by Kim Location: Mason on May 10, 2007 at 05:22 AM
    Listen to Dave of Lansing, he hit the nail square on the head. I think lawmakers and everyone living off taxpayers money should be laid off. Not people who work hard to pay their bills and odds are they are living paycheck to paycheck.
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