In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
One down and five to go…at least for this year. Friday morning last, 37,400 folks who normally don't sleep in, got a chance to do just that. The governor and lawmakers ordered those state civil servants to stay home and on five more Fridays this summer they will do the same thing thus saving taxpayers just over $21 million. Furlough days have become a hot political potato. While state bureaucrats are forced to take six days off without pay, employees in the house and senate are taking only two days off. This appears to be another example of legislative arrogance in that lawmakers are so important they can't afford to have their staffers take six days off. Not so counters the spokespersons for the legislative leaders who explain, the house and senate have saved money through other means so the=2 0six days is not needed. The Michigan State Troopers Association continues to struggle with its own furlough day's flap. The governor has been pushing them to be just like everyone else, but the union has been pushing back for weeks. Now it is crunch time. On June 30th, unless somebody bends, 104 troopers will be sent to the unemployment line. Complicating the issue is a union election slated for next year. It could be that some of the leaders, who want to keep their jobs, are not willing to make this decision alone for fear the membership could un-elected them. So in the best example of passing the buck and covering their behinds, leaders are polling the membership this week to see what it wants to do. 0 Taking six days off this year may be a walk in the park compared to next year. Speculation is twenty furlough days will be the order of the day. And for the anti-government types out there, and you know who you are, that may be 345 days too few.