Three Days So Far Of Weekend Budget Negotiations

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Another day, another step closer to a partial government shutdown.

Even an appearance by Governor Granholm on the house floor Sunday couldn't cool the hot tempers regarding the state's budget solution.

Democrats and Republicans were verbally sparring over a democrat-proposed income tax hike. Raising the income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.6 percent would generate $1 billion out of a $1.75 billion deficit.

Democrats say in order for the move to have any hope of passing in the senate, they need some Republicans to be on board. Much of Sunday was spent in caucus trying to woo those Republican votes.

Rep. Paul Condino, (D) Southfield, said the democrats had 10 or more Republicans potentially working with them for a "yes" vote on the income tax.

House minority leader Craig DeRoche says it won't happen.

"It's not true. There will be no Republican votes this weekend," DeRoche says.

DeRoche reminds that the Democrats have enough members to pass the measure on their own.

Meantime House Democrats were asking why Senate majority leader Mike Bishop wasn't present during sunday's session. They say his input is crucial to coming up with a solution everyone can agree on.

Senate minority leader Mark Schauer was there. He said he and some democrat colleagues from the Senate wanted to help out the House as best they could.

The house fiscal agency says a budget solution needs to be in place by September 27 to avoid a partial government shutdown on October 1.

"I worry we're putting people in danger," says Democratic Rep. Tim Melton of Pontiac.

It's the second major budget crisis this year--one thats resolution could still be hours, if not days or weeks, away.


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