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.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
What's The Rush?
This is beginning to sound like the proverbial broken record…those are round discs that pre-date CD's, but it bears repeating. Maybe you don't give a hoot, but here goes anyway. During the entire month of July, you can count on one finger, the number of times the Michigan House and Senate have been in session. While most working slugs got one day off for the 4th of July, state lawmakers took two weeks off. That must have been one heck of a loooong parade! Before they left, legislative leaders explained that they would stay behind and work with the governor to resolve the budget mess. You may have heard about the $1.7 billion hole in the budget. It's been in all the papers.
Well come to find out, best we can tell, they met once. The budget director complains he was available but everyone else was not. Lawmakers did return after the hiatus for one day. They adjourned claiming they would return the next week for one day, but they didn't. And now the word is, the house won't meet next week but leaders will try to keep that secret so nobody writes a blog about their heavy work schedule. The governor was asked to chime in on all this the other day. Do you get any sense of urgency?" she was asked as the clock ticks toward an October one deadline. She declined to wade into the issue but did defend the lawmakers saying, "Negotiations are going on all the time." Not sure what her definition of "all the time" really is. Nonetheless she correctly states, lawmakers "don't have to be in their seats all the time" while these budget talks continue behind closed doors. And don't forget we are told that when lawmakers aren't in our town, they are "back in the district working." Just remember all this next September when she and lawmakers are running out of time to avoid another shutdown of government.