Wednesday, February 13, 2008
So Much For Unanimity
Well that didn't take long. The democratic governor and senate republicans have their major dust up over the new budget. She wants to spend millions on bricks and mortar for new state buildings on college campuses as a way to create new jobs and jump start Michigan's sub zero economy. But what Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants, she will have to wait to get. The chair of the senate budget committee, a republican, has other ideas. He wants to sit on the so-called Capital Outlay budget for a spell. Senator Ron Jelinek from West Michigan is in no hurry to hurry more state spending when there is a chance the state's economy will dip lower before it gets better. As he told an audience of county officials the other day, he wants to set the building bucks aside in sort of a mini rainy day fund just in case. Jelinek figures it doesn't make sense to spend now, if you're going to need that money later on. Hearing this for the first time was the ranking democrat on the senate appropriations committee. As you might expect Sen. Mickey Switalski of Macomb County sides with the governor. He figures an infusion of new construction projects is just what the sickly state economy needs, so why wait. Switalski will lose this opening round because what the chairman wants, the chairman gets. While this amounts to the major disagreement between the governor and the senate R's, it is not a cantankerous disagreement the likes of which we saw all last year. Philosophical discord is actually a healthy sign and it does not burst the bi-partisan bubble the governor blew up last month. On this one, everyone can agree to disagree in a disagreeable manner. Maybe.