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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  • by Ron Location: Mason, MI on Sep 29, 2007 at 05:26 AM
    Incompetent, inept, ineffective ,,, ; that is our State legislature. This government belongs to the citizens. It is not owned by the elected officials. They are working for us. It's time they should all go, without exception. Starting with the next election. Lay all of them off, permanently, and start with fresh faces and fresh ideas. Exercise the power you have as a taxpayer and a voter.
  • by Brad Location: Lansing on Sep 18, 2007 at 06:54 AM
    Ladies and Gentlemen of Michigan: I am appalled at the tactics our governor is using to hold this great state of ours hostage in order that "we the people" succumb to a tax increase. I fail to see how we can tax ourselves out of the bottom of 49 other states economies. Michigan's people and companies are some of the most innovating resources this country has. To saddle this state with unnecessry taxes at this time of econimic struggle is just plain ignorant. I would expect better leadership from the governor's office.
  • by Robert Location: Hudson on Sep 17, 2007 at 08:21 PM
    Our state leaders are gutless wonders! This is not the first time our state has been in trouble. Every time the auto industry goes down, our unemployment goes up. We now rank # 1 in the nation in unemployment, so it stands to reason the less people working the less money coming in. Take a lesson out of engler's book, raise the taxes until the unemployment goes down. As it does lower the taxes proportionately. If our leaders are afraid of recall over such minute amounts of money, then maybe they shouldn't be there in the first place. My word, from 3.9% to 4.6% you are only talking about 70 cents for every 100.00 dollars. give me a break and lead. If you can't lead then get behind and follow someone who will lead.
  • by Don Location: Lansing on Sep 17, 2007 at 04:45 PM
    Let Michigan Democrats raise taxes. Their tax grab of $350 per family is still less than one of those Ipod's they wanted to give away, or a haircut for one of their (male) presidential candidates.
  • by Donna Location: Jackson County on Sep 17, 2007 at 04:01 PM
    I think that the legislature needs to stop playing games and fix the problem. One way to do that is for all of them including the governor to take pay cuts. Too many people in Michigan have lost their jobs and do not have health insurance. How do they expect people to be able to afford paying more taxes?
  • by Pam Location: Jackson on Sep 17, 2007 at 01:40 PM
    Why is it not a surprise that the republicans are skipping out on a 'crisis' issue when they were asking to get it settled 8 months ago. It comes down to the fact of who will buckle first to get a balance budget. I hope the accounting office who releases the checks to house is the first one to close down. They would get real motivated if they do not get paid or reimbursed.
  • by Leroy on Sep 17, 2007 at 01:25 PM
    Maybe we should sell the U.P. to someone who can afford it. No offense to anyone from the U.P. It's a great place.
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