Ouch on This Cultural Change
Michigan Legislature could end at 11 a.m. this Thursday and senate
Republicans may be the first to leave the bedroom.
That's right, senate Republicans.
Candidate Snyder promised to change the culture in Lansing and by
changing the way the state budget is written, he will take a stab at
that but he may get stabbed back for doing it.
You see the time honored cultural tradition in this town has the
governor proposing the budget and lawmakers disposing of it. Slicing
and dicing the governor's spending ideas in the house and senate
appropriations committees is a holy assignment for these legislators.
But instead of giving them line after line of detailed spending
suggestions, the word is the new governor will "roll-up" his spending
targets into three to six lines with the hope that lawmakers will pass
those dollar amounts and let the department directors decide where the
money should go.
Can you say stepping on toes?
Can you say diminishing the legislaive branch into a rubber stamp?
Can you say this won't fly?
The GOP chair of the Senate budget committee can.
"It's not likely," indicates Sen. Roger Kahn as he stakes out his
turf in what could become a nasty turf war with his GOP governor.
The Senate GOP leader Randy Richardville asserts that the
detailed "line item" tradition should be preserved.
And on that the Senate Democratic Leader agrees. Sen. Gretchen
Whitmer says if the new governor is for transparency, i.e. letting
everyone know what he's doing, then rolling up massive budgets into a
few short sentences is "the antithesis of transparency."
As he was walking out the door last year the former GOP Senate
Leader Mike Bishop observed that former Gov. Jennifer Granholm did not
treat the legislature as a co-equal.
If this speculation is true about handing lawmakers a skimpy
budget, the same charge may be leveled at the GOP governor on Thursday
and both parties will be doing the leveling.