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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.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Big Three Get It Done

It took over two months, it was messy, but it was bi-partisan
and it was a compromise in that not everybody liked it. All in all,
depending on where you sit, the legislative leaders and the governor
actually got something done on the teacher retirement issue.
The Michigan Education Association quickly called it
"ill-conceived" that will not produce any savings and the governor
called it a "milestone" on the road to eradicating part of the
structural budget deficit long term.
As with every compromise, the truth lies somewhere in between,
but House Speaker Andy Dillon, Senate GOP leader Mike Bishop and the
governor actually cooperated and got it done. On that front alone, the
earth moved at the state capitol.
Teachers are upset that they have to kick in an additional 3%
into their retirement system and the MEA says that will do nothing to
shore up the fund. It also predicts that 28,000 teachers will not sign
up to retire now.
The other side disagrees projecting a savings of $700 million for
local school districts, give or take a few million and the good news?
The projected $450 million cut in the K-12 school funding program will
be eliminated this year.
Truth be known, the democratic governor's plan was firmly embraced
by the legislative Republicans who provided the margin of victory. 40
Republicans joined with only 16 Democrats in the house to pass it and
only two democrats in the senate joined with 19 R's to adopt it there.
But the governor will not grumble about that as she actually got a
package she first outlined last February and given the intensity of the
dispute, getting it done in just over two months ain't bad for
government work.
So the sniping will continue, but the governor will sign this
thing as it becomes part of her legacy in that it is a long term
savings for state government even though she had to toss the union,
that endorsed her first eight years ago, under the bus to get there.


Anonymous Rob said...

I love it when the Legislature makes policy at 4 am. My prediction is those who alredy planned to leave will leave and collect about $200 more in pension benefit. They will not hit the 28,000 early retiree goal and School employees will pay 3% of wages into retiree health that many of the low paid employees won't benefit from. Way to stick it to the union GOP and Jenny.

May 14, 2010 at 5:58 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be a LOT of takers at the College level--and a LOT of savings there!

May 14, 2010 at 6:47 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question, how about the 3% (roughly 1800 bucks for those making 60,000) being taken out of the economy? That money has no shot on being spent on what really makes a country run, consumers buying products.

Nice job "Big Three".

May 14, 2010 at 7:44 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you figure the 3% is being taken out of the economy?

It's being left in the hands of the taxpayers, rather than being stolen out of their hands and given to a bunch of MEA slugs.

Now, let's get busy on MEA paycuts. I'd say we should start at 3%.

Oh, and let's go right to work in this state, so teachers who want to stop paying union dues can make up the 3% paycut, by not paying absurd union dues, which the MEA used to plow into lefty politics.

I like it.

May 15, 2010 at 2:03 PM 

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