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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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Surprise, surprise

    The frigid cold and harsh reality of slashing $1.2 billion out of critical state services has engulfed the capitol and many lawmakers who talked about cuts are now having second thoughts about actually voting for the cuts.  Surprise. Surprise.
    It was no shock that a self-imposed deadline of 5 p.m. on Tuesday was missed.  An overly optimistic Speaker of the House wanted all 16 budget committees to complete their work by then.  A grand total of three did.
    The other 13, in varying degrees, could not reach a conclusion because of disagreements over all those cuts.
    Still up in the air are reductions in early childhood education, loss of dollars for local cops and firefighters, reductions in health care for the poor and mental health care for the needy, college scholarships, and the hiring of more state troopers.
    To think that all of those can be completed by next Tuesday is a stretch especially since the state senate has decided to take Friday off so some of the GOP senators can head up to a Republican shindig on Mackinac Island.
    They wouldn't?
    Watch them.
    This does not mean a shutdown of government is going to happen. In fact, that can be averted by approving an emergency bill that would give lawmakers 30 more days to do what they so far have been unable to do.
    As they bicker back and forth over cuts and there aren't the votes to do it, lawmakers will be forced to confront another issue they are loathed to tackle as well: Raising more revenue.  Surprise. Surprise.


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