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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, October 5, 2009

Revenue Showdown

Last ast week it was budget cuts. This week, it's raise new
revenue to restore some of those budget cuts. Welcome to the
continuing budget saga, the story that refuses to go away.
After the dust cleared from the wrangling last week it was clear
that only 32 folks in the Michigan House had the guts to slice $218
from every school kid in the state. Those were probably lawmakers with
no kids, no relative with kids, no pals in the education lobby, and
those retiring from politics.
The vast majority of republicans, who all year long bragged about
cutting state services to balance the budget, suddenly got ice cold
footsies as the education lobby lowered the boom on these guys. Since
the Michigan Education Association bankrolled some of those lawmakers
in their election bids, the pols listened to what the MEA was saying:
Don't vote yes on that cut!
So now comes an effort to raise revenue to lower the $218 to some
other figure and the clock is ticking on that, too. In order for
schools to meet their payroll later this month, the state must have the
school aid payment checks in the mail by Saturday. Hence if lawmakers
dilly and dally and miss that deadline, there could be payless paydays
in the schools statewide with resulting national headlines pointing out
again how inept our lawmakers really areā€¦as if we need to read that
again.0D
Nobody wants that but they are not exactly lining up to vote for
more revenue either. That means this week will be a humdinger to watch
with the education of your kids hanging in the balance.
Assuming new revenue comes out of the house and that's a pretty
good bet, the real showdown is in the senate where the republicans have
been saying no to tax hikes all year long. Despite that, revenue
raisers have their fingers crossed that three, four, five, maybe even
six republicans will cough up a yes vote.
Believe it when you see it.

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