Lawmakers Battling On Budget

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Lawmakers aren't just fighting the clock anymore when it comes to the state's budget-- they're also fighting each other.

After Governor Granholm released her version of the 2009-2010 budget Tuesday, House Speaker Andy Dillon-- of her own democratic party-- released this statement:

"The Governor should know that showboating a proposal that has no chance of passing is not a way to solve the state's fiscal crisis. All parties need to put theatrics and demands aside and get back to the hard work of negotiating a budget solution."

"What you have at the very least is some dynamic tension," says political analyst Craig Ruff of Public Sector Consultants.

Ruff says the war of words is not what Michigan needs.

"It doesn't help the budget process, which is already flawed, which already has kinks. It just adds fuel to the fire," Ruff says.

House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer took the opportunity Wednesday to weigh in on the battle-- and actually supported the Governor's move to release the budget in public, unlike Dillon.

"It might be time for Dillon to do some showboating of his own. The time has come for the House Democrats to release their proposal and have it be discussed openly," the Kewadin Republican says.

Elsenheimer wouldn't say whether he'd seen a version of Dillon's proposal in private, but indicated a state shutdown is growing more probable.

"If we aren't able to move substantive bills in the next week, bills that address the shutdown, not just smoke in mirrors, I think the likelihood becomes much more signficant," he says.

Ruff says this political tango could have been avoided altogether, had lawmakers not squandered July and August, and instead created a solution to the nearly $3 billion deficit.

"Creating a budget by October First is much more problematic than it should have been," Ruff says.

And so is the discussion.

Neither Dillon nor Granholm's offices returned our calls for comment today.

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  • by Anonymous on Sep 13, 2009 at 06:55 AM
    Pay or don't have.Can't afford then don't buy.Let the government run your lives.Let them keep their pay and make others suffer.Believe what they say when running for office.If in very high incomes,never expect to pay your fare share,the gov has your back covered.If you become jobless,to bad to sad.Programs will go away,so pet projects can continue on remodeling mich.Giving {free}education VS feeding people or helping many in need.Getting jobs in mich is not easy so don't do it just CUT many programs.Layoff more people,loosing more tax money.It is alright more loose homes and businesses sit empty.Or neighborhoods become slums as no one has money to fix their homes.These are things mich says to fix a budget.Indiana has a 200$ up front charge for all students each year on book fees.Indiana has higher property prices,and property taxes.Yet there tobacco prices cheaper,gas cheaper.They attract many by their tourist attractions.Just small examples of another state.Mich?Not much good to say.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 10, 2009 at 01:25 PM
    These officials need to start wearing shirts that say 'Votes for sale'
  • by Anonymous on Sep 10, 2009 at 11:23 AM
    Also put down how much aid you get from the government including unemployment.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 10, 2009 at 04:57 AM
    Here we go again.Can't make anyone happy.So please post comments on how the budget should be fixed.Please give a some what price of your income is in.So we can see where you are coming from.Just remember this is mich and why we are in the shape we are in.The biggest issue being huge job loss and no jobs to be found.What will be the end results of this problem.Dig into facts like what other states have for taxes and costs to live in other cities in other states.Can we give mich gov any good ideas?have a nice day.
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