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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, May 19, 2010

Boom-Boom Is Dud-Dud

It was with high hopes that the Michigan House last week, with
79 votes, sent to the senate that fireworks bill designed to halt the
smuggling of "real" explosives into the state from Indiana and Ohio.
So much for that. The bill is a dud in the senate.
"We've got a lot more important issues before our committee,"
intones Macomb County GOP Senator Alan Sanborn.
His answer is legislative short hand for, this thing is going
nowhere fast and I'll make sure of that.
Sanborn remembers when he was a kid and each 4th of July "some
kid would blow off his hand" and Sanborn pledges to make sure those
kind of "tragic consequences" don't reappear.
But hold the phone. The state would reap about $5 million in the
sales tax and related revenue if the major fireworks bill was adopted.
Sanborn, who is loathed to raise taxes, is not impressed with this back
door revenue raiser.
"At what cost?" he asks as he quietly shoves the bill into the
equivalent of the legislative elephant burial ground.
Poor Rep. Harold Haugh (D-Roseville) who confided that he was
confident he could push this thing through the senate committee
because, "I've known Alan for a long time and we are friends."
So much for friendship.
Sanborn left very little wiggle room in this debate refusing to
declare it dead forever. There might be a "reason" to bring it up but
when pressed it was clear that was just a sop to his friend Mr. Haugh.
"I don't see us taking it up before the spring," the
conservative lawmaker asserts. And certainly not before the 4th of
July either.
The only way to grab this bill from Mr. Sanborn to set up a
senate vote is for somebody there to marshal a discharge motion to pry
it from the committee. Rarely done and even more rarely successful.
So, who's going to Indiana and Ohio next month? Raise your hand.


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