Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Let The Games Begin
The Michigan House officially opened the new legislative year on Wednesday as families and friends gathered to welcome back the old-timers and welcome in the 44 new members. There were hugs, lots of picture taking, slaps on the back and all sorts of wonderful talk about putting partisan differences aside and working in a bi-partisan manner. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They say that every year but pretty soon everyone forgets the high rhetoric and gets back to normal. Maybe this year will be different? And maybe the Tigers will win the World Series, too. But it will be sometime before we get a feel for how this new bunch is going to jell because they won 't be around for a while. Next week a lot of democrats will invade the nation's capitol to celebrate the election of you know who. The senate may be in next week since the GOP controlled body apparently won't be popping any corks for Barack Obama. And since the governor won't give her State of the State until February 3rd, you won't see any major action until after that. That's cool with House Speaker Andy Dillon. He reminds everyone that just because nobody is voting on the house floor, it does not mean folks are not working behind the scenes to tee up stuff for a floor vote. His GOP counterpart, Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer, who replaces Oakland County Repub Craig DeRoche, says it's "traditional" for lawmakers to get "acclimated to the building and acclimated to their assignments" before the floor show begins. So while Mr. Obama is demanding that the new congress act quickly on a stimulus package in Washington, the same sense of urgency does not exist here to tackle health care, transportation, budget cuts, etc. etc. etc. But Dillon and Elsenheimer reassure doubting citizens, work out of the public eye will be going on.