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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.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lame Ducks Limp Out of Town

State lawmakers limped out of their abbreviated Lame Duck session
and into another extended break leaving behind a mixed bag of pluses
and minuses for Michigan citizens to digest.
On the upside, they found $10 million to jump start the highly
successful Pure Michigan advertising campaign just in time for the
winter tourism season. They swiped the money from a jobs fund when
efforts to find another revenue stream dried up.
Wayne County executive Bobby Ficano and his friends in the business
community finally got their so-called Aerotropolis measure to create
enterprise zones around Detroit-Metro Airport. How many jobs will
incubate is anybodies guess.
While the business lobby was celebrating that, it was no so
celebratory over the failure to build a bridge between Detroit and
Windsor. The governor complains that because of massive political
contributions from the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, who were
loathed to have any competition, lawmakers caved to that special
interest and nix the DRIC.
Score it Matty and friends 100 and the gov. zippo.
But the war continues into the new year with a new crop of folks to
tackle the bridge.
The business community was victorious in blocking legislation to
include insurance coverage for autistic children. Lots of lawmakers
expressed their sympathy to the parents of these special needs
children, but in the end when business said it would hike insurance
costs for them, you know the outcome.
Score it business 100 and parents nada.
And efforts to revamp the way we get rid of lousy teachers showed
signs of life for a moment. The senate did pass a teacher tenure redo
but the Michigan Education Association made sure it never saw the light
of day in the Michigan House.
"The tenure system is designed to protect bad teachers," one state
senator lamented. So much for that.
So after taking two weeks off for hunting and Thanksgiving, the
full time legislature departed for the rest of the year off after a
grueling three days of doing the people's business…or not.


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