Thursday, January 28, 2010
Repealing Prop "A" Appealing
The 44 members of the freshman class in the Michigan House finally got an assignment from the Speaker of the House they can get their teeth into and some fear they may be biting off more than they can chew. Speaker Andy Dillon wants a report on how we should fund our schools and one of items on the table, but not endorsed yet, is the total repeal of Proposal A. You remember Prop A that moved school financing from the property to the sales tax. Gov. Jennifer Granholm came into office suggesting the proposal needed some tweaking. She lost her tweakers and never did it. Now the freshmen may pick up where the governor left off. Rep. Lesia Liss (D-Warren) startled everyone in the joint the other night at an education town hall meeting in which 800 parents showed up. "We are looking at repealing Proposal A," she blurted out during the Q and A. And she was uplifted when the audience applauded the suggestion. Let's just say that back home on the ranch in this town, the applause was not so spontaneous. Charlie Owen who works for independent business owners is well aware that his clients may get hit with a new tax to fund the schools if Prop A goes bye-bye. Paint him worried. Rep. Tim Melton (D-Pontiac) says the idea "makes me a little nervous.' He wonders how his constituents will respond to over turning what the voters mandated in 1994 and the cost of same? Paint him reluctant. Liss reports there's a 50-50 chance this idea will move and she is hopeful, if it does, that the R's will join the D's to pass a new sales tax on services to raise the dough for schools. Liss says she is "pretty sure" there will be bi-partisan support. Paint her encouraged. And come to find out, she may be right. Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) who co-chairs the freshmen caucus with Liss is open to the sales tax if government reforms comes first. Hold onto your hats, this one could be a dandy of a debate as they might attempt undoing what former Gov. John Engler did with Prop A. Nobody has had the guts to do that before. Paint him vexed.