Voters Frustrated With Lack Of Progress

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

It's been on the board in House Chambers nearly four days now, a vote to raise Michigan's income tax from 3.9% to 4.6%. But even with the lengthy time to vote, about a dozen representatives still haven't decided. It's a delay that's all part of the negotiation process.

"We need to keep this board open this way until we clearly have a bipartisan plan negotiated," said Democratic Representative Mark Meadows of East Lansing.

Those undecided include local democrats like Barb Byrum and Mike Simpson. For the Republicans, Minority Leader Craig Deroche among others.

They're waiting while party leaders from both the House and Senate negotiate behind closed of the main reasons for the hold up. A hold up that's frustrating voters.

"I'm amazed that they can't get anything done in Michigan," said Bill Amadeo of Lansing. "It's frustrating to all of us."

"Movement is very important at this time," echoed Richard Law. "People have to sit down and talk it out."

Lansing Representative Joan Bauer says constituents continue to contact her office.

"We're getting phone calls. We're getting emails. People are having a hard time understanding why it should take this long."

It's a different story from Republican Representative Rick Jones from Grand Ledge. He and his district say the Democrats are taking too much time.

"I'm not obstructing anything in the house. The democrats have 58 votes. They can pass anything they want. Many of the democrats don't have the courage to vote yes or no. My vote is up there."

Those yellow undecided names on the House board may soon have to go green, in favor or go red against, if Michigan wants to avoid a government shutdown looming on October first.

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  • by Les Location: Parma on Sep 19, 2007 at 03:31 PM
    It is too bad that the only solution seems to be to raise our taxes to eliminate a deficit. I have not heard of any amendments offered to eliminate the state employees pay raises that will occcur next year or even this year, reduce benefits, pay cuts, and of course the obvious, which is to reduce employees. This must be very sacred territory that it cannot be promoted! I had to experience pay cuts, layoffs, and loss of benefits when business cycles were bad! Increase the taxes and watch our economy get worse!!!
  • by pat Location: cambria on Sep 18, 2007 at 11:42 AM
    set back and wonder,complain now that its to late,can't figure out what parties right,tax or no tax.lets face it we will get what they give us and have to deal with that mess some day.united we stand,divided we fall.guess we going down.
  • by Pam Location: Jackson on Sep 17, 2007 at 06:53 PM
    And if you notice, it is the democrats who are stalling. They are afraid to place their vote on record. Most of the republicans vote on the bill as soon as it is posted.
  • by Anonymous Location: Springport on Sep 17, 2007 at 06:37 PM
    We have spend enough money on taxes. We don't need anymore. It is hard enough for people who don't make much money to get by as it is, we don't need more taxes when all these goevernment employees are making big money. I agree they should take pay cuts to balance the budget. More people are going to be leaving the state to move to one that is cheaper to live in if they don't do some thing about it besides raising taxes again.
  • by Lester Location: Parma on Sep 17, 2007 at 03:12 PM
    Eliminate all pay raises for next year, and cut all government employee salaries by 5%. Now, what is the deficit? If that is not enough, the state needs to cut their salaries enough to balance the budget. Replacement employees can be found who will work for less.
  • by Anonymous Location: Stockbridge on Sep 17, 2007 at 02:29 PM
    A little suggestion on how to raise money to help with this awful budget our representatives can't balance, maybe if a law was passed for persons driving while talking on cell phones, put in a fine of $90.00, like they do in NY, I think there would be plenty of money to go around. By raising taxes us little people are the ones who will feel the ill effects of persons over spending their budgets. Leave us lower class people alone for a change.
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