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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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

As impossible as it may seem, there could have been a budget
resolution last July when Gov. Jennifer Granholm actually agreed to cut
state spending by $1.1. billion but the senate GOP leader rejected the
offer claiming it was not enough. Note that that offer was just $100
million lower than the number being negotiated right now by Speaker
Andy Dillon and Sen. Mike Bishop.
All of this comes to light as the administration and legislature
bump up against an October first deadline for writing a new budget.
The governor will not confirm any of this but here's how the
story unfolded.
It was a beautiful sunny day on July 23 when the governor
strolled through the farmer's market on the front law of the state
capitol. She had just come out of a budget negotiating session with
Mr. Bishop where the $1.1 billion in cuts were placed on the table by
her for the first time.
A Lansing source reveals, "This solution that they have right now
(was offered) two months ago." The "cuts were close to $1.1 billion
dollars (and) he (Bishop) said it needed to be more."
This source explains the governor's strategy. It is not that she
wanted to cut the budget by that much but she was willing to do it if
Mr. Bishop coughed up more revenue for programs she wanted to salvage.

She wanted to "send everyone out and let them try to reach those
goals." She correctly and instinctively knew they would discover, as
they are discovering at this very moment, that they couldn't do it.
At that point in July, she felt everyone could return to the
table and "talk about where the problems are" and a new budget could be
crafted with fewer cuts. Which coincidently is what they are doing
right now as Bishop raises the targets for some budgets to accommodate
more spending on some state services while looking for new revenue at
the same time.
It's the budget deal that almost was.


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