Voters Angry Over Budget Process

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

"Basically they're not doing what they got to do," One man said of lawmakers.

"We've been here before, they've been locked before. It's not looking good," A female voted said.

We caught up with those people on September 21, 2009. About a week later, the budget deadline came and went with no agreement and the state shutdown for a second time.

Flash forward one year later, similar circumstances, same feelings.

"It's a mess, it really is," Christine Anderson said. "It's a mess."

"I definitely have to make deadlines at school and work," MSU student Jacob Smith. "They need to get started earlier."

Lawmakers have passed several budgets so far this year, but the sticking point is the proposal on the table to offer early incentives for state employees to retire.

"They can always agree on numbers but when it gets into specifics like the retirement issues, that's when unions put pressure on members in the House," Political Consultant Dave Doyle, of Marketing Resource Group, said. "That's when you've got a problem."

If they can't agree on that issue, they'll have to find $60 million in savings somewhere else, and they'll have to do it in eight days.

So who do voters blame for this seemingly yearly occurrence? According to a 2009 Gongwer News Service poll, 37 percent of them say everyone is to blame, including the Governor, the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader.

Doyle said voters care less about why this keeps happening, they just want lawmakers to fix it.

"You have to make the tough decisions," he said. "That's why voters put the state representatives, the senators and the governor there, to make those tough decisions."

Lawmakers are still confident they will pass the 2010-2011 budget under the deadline.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ron Location: Lansing on Sep 23, 2010 at 03:50 PM
    Our state government follows in the foot steps of our federal government.. Everybody is stick to their party objectives instead of working together to come to a solution to our problems. Work together people and do the job they were elected to do!!! This isn't a unreasonable request from people who voted you into office..
  • by Sandi on Sep 23, 2010 at 06:11 AM
    Seems like every year we have this same discussion. the legislature is doing the usual nothing about the budget, and we just get angrier, well it's an election year. Lets just get rid of them.
  • by confused Location: Jackson on Sep 22, 2010 at 08:13 PM
    I'm confused, I read that it cost $60,000.00 to house each person in the correction department. Do inmates still have to work in prison to offset the cost? They use to make license plates, grow own food and do all the work that is necessary to maintain their upkeep. Are we still paying for college education for them? How much do they contribute to their own incarceration? Maybe we need to cut cost by making sure they are contributing to the cost, not giving it away at taxpayers expense (like cutting funding for schools, teachers and others who are working for the good of society). I don't know what inmates do, this is just a thought. The State needs to stop hurting the people who are working and contributing and need to make sure that Jail is Jail.
  • by Pat Location: Lansing on Sep 22, 2010 at 05:20 PM
    I am extremely upset that both the house and senate continue to play games. We voted them in and it may be time to vote them out. If we don't file our taxes they are right there to collect. If we don't pay a ticket they are there to collect. It is about time we implement a policy of when the work is done they get their pay. If they don't have tasks completed by deadline they pay us or fore go their wages. Two missed deadlines remove their allowances for offices and staff. The third time they lose all benefits. It is nothing different then done in the business world and needs to be done with out elected officials as well.Accountablity to their residence should be evaluated by that same contingent at the end of every month.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 22, 2010 at 04:11 PM
    I wonder why people are getting angry? Is it because our goverment is a joke?
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