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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.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's a good thing for Mike Bishop that not many public employees will voting at he GOP state convention as he tries to nail down the party nomination for attorney general. If they did vote, they'd vote him off the island pronto.
You see this week the senate GOP leader and colleagues proposed to slash the salary of every public employee in the state by 5% and all new hires by 10%. On top of that those same workers would be forced to kick in
a 20% co-pay for health care costs.
We're talking everyone from the janitor at the township hall to the governor of the state and everyone inbetween at all levels of government.
Bishop says the $1.8 billion in savings would bring the public sector in line with the give backs the private sector has been coughing up for years.
And so the annual budget battle is engaged with the governor saying she thinks Mr. B is "willing to look at" tax reform, too.
On Wednesday he said, there was no need to look at new revenue. Period.
But the democrats do want to look and they have a hammer. To place those pay cut amendments on the August ballot for you to decide, Bishop needs democrats to join with the GOP to do it.
And democrats are not about to be snookered by Bishop for a second year in a row.
"So before we bite the bullet on a lot of these reforms," we want to know what Bishop is going to give us, contends Sen Mike Prussi the top democrat in the senate.
And when the governor was asked if she was going to repeat what happened last year, with Bishop getting everything he wanted and she got got a goose egg, her answer was precise, direct and not open to any interpretation; "No."
However, after all that, Bishop is now saying he will not close the door to debating what the governor wants, a new sales tax on services with a new and lower 5.5% sales tax rate.
To be sure Bishop has not endorsed that but he says, "If the House Democrats send it over, we have an obligation to look at it." That's not a yes, but it's not a no, either.
And for now the governor will take that in a New York minute.


Blogger David Waymire said...

Tim: Has anybody asked how this will affect Tom Izzo? He's a university employee. Will he be forced to take a 5 percent pay cut and freeze for three years? What would happen if he were? Would Tom -- a very talented man who happens to work for government -- stay, or would he leave? I think we all know the answer to that -- off to the NBA in a heartbeat, and MSU would be unable to select from the pool of the best and brightest and most expensive to replace him. Mediocrity would reign at the Breslin Center.
The point isn't just's all the other talented people who work for the state now. We pay health care CEOs millions -- and the head of the Department of Community Health, who oversees more employees and a bigger budget than most insuers, $150,000 or so. Of course, perhaps Bishop wants mediocrity to reign in state government. Then he and his ilk could argue that government isn't working -- just like appointing "Brownie" to run FEMA into the ground was no accident.

January 21, 2010 at 10:19 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, all you “Posters”. I’ve got a real important question here. I really hope I’m not holding up your response board here but I really need some input on a current situation that is going on.
People.. do you see what’s going on in Haiti! Guys, these are generations of human beings being “LET” to die “Intentionally”. LOOK, the medicines that they need, such as; penicillin, disinfectants, instruments to operate, and water, setting just a walk away. Setting there for days now but, they are (our Military) is holding it. The input I seek is; why don’t they load it in one of those trucks they took 2 days to “Fly In” and start handing it out to the “Doctors without Borders” that are waiting and watching, patiently, watching these generations of people dying away. They are holding up the meds, that can save lives, and cultures. What’s really going on over there, what are we doing (USA)? I thought we were sending all this money over there to help them. All I see are medicines being held up and promised children who are awaiting arrival here to the U.S., by families who have a vested interest in, being the top priority over there. See, they have so many jets flying in these senators and other state officials, and, as I mentioned earlier, all the private hired jets to export the promised children, that they got the whole airport “bottle-necked”. The ships and planes bring in stuff that can save their lives are being told they can’t land so they turn tail and land somewhere else and wait.
I smell a Rat. I see another genocide coming down the pipe- Another country being taken under control. It looks like opportunity has knocked at the door once again. At least this way we don’t have to waste time killing them, we just let then die off and take advantage of whom ever is left. Is this who we are? I seem to remember this same scenario happening way back as far as 1492.
Sorry if this sounds in any way offensive to anyone. It’s not meant to be. I am only utilizing “one” past example of our past history.
Does anyone know why were letting these peoples and cultures die over there? Is this the way we are going to operate? As I write this, it is 10:30 am and they still haven’t found an appropriate way to disperse them. Got any thoughts? If not maybe we better start thinking about it before it too late.

January 22, 2010 at 7:54 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim can you please remind me what year it was that Michigan's legislators gave themselves a 36% pay raise, and was Mike Bishop in the legislature at that time? It's a bit easier to say you'll take a pay cut when in the not too distant past, you received a 36% pay raise for a part-time job. Teacher contracts have remained stagnant with no raises or teachers have had to fight for .5% or 1% raises for years. In Walled Lake, teachers actually voted to take a 1% pay-cut to stop mid-year lay-offs.

Additionally, our MI legislators get lifetime health-care after 6 years of a part-time job. Six years! That is unheard of. In addition to $1000/month expense accounts that, from what I read on another site, require no receipts to be submitted. What?!? Teachers buy their own supplies as well as supplies for students who have none.

We need great teachers now more than ever. Why would any young, talented college students want to choose teaching when the profession is continually attacked, teachers are always being asked to do more with less, and wages and benefits can be slashed at the whim of our legislators? I am extremely sad to say that if my children wanted to become teachers, I would advise them to consider other career options.

January 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM 
Anonymous jill said...

Michigan is one of the only states without a tax on services. No one likes taxes, but the time has come for this one.

January 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM 
Anonymous Fred Wszolek said...

Waymire, you crack me up. You think it's wrong, bad, horrible and no good to cut the pay 5% of a hard working government employee like the basketball coach, because if we did, he'd flee the oppression of it all and amscre out of MI. On the other hand, you think it's good, enlightened, noble and wonderful to have a graduated income tax that would...cut his pay 5%. No wonder Americans are having second thoughts about letting liberals set economic policy without adult supervision.

January 24, 2010 at 8:50 AM 
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