It wasn't much but there was a faint hint of bi-partisan cooperation during the recent senate vote on the governor's biz/pension tax. The Democrats actually gave the gov something and he returned the favor..or did he?
For weeks the senate Democratic Leader has belly ached about not being included in budget chats with Gov. Rick Snyder and his two side-kicks in the house and senate.
Sen. Gretchen Whitmer wanted to help but that came with a price and all this came to a head during the heat of the tax battle last Thursday.
Here's the inside skinny.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley desperately wanted to vote on the tax issue but the only way that could happen was with a 19-19 vote. Then his vote would provide the historic 20th vote for passage.
But here was the rub. Ms. Whitmer was threatening to send some of her Democrats off to Ohio or some other exotic locale. Then they could not vote and there would be no tie for Calley to break.
Somebody went to her with this suggestion: If you provide all of your votes, we will buy down the governor's cut to education which was originally pegged at a hefty $470 per pupil.
Whitmer was intrigued and long story short, she got an agreement from the other side to shave the cut down to around $245.
In addition, Whitmer knew that some Detroit Democrats were worried that the GOP would never allow a vote on bills to extend Motown's income and utility taxes. Hence she asked for and got a pledge from the gov's guys that the vote would be held.
Note that the front office did not promise to supply votes, only to allow it. She was pleased.
But come to find out, that vote was going to happen anyway, but nobody told her that.
Regardless this was bi-partisan cooperation but apparently not with the governor per se.
Asked about the "deal" the governor wonders, what deal? He never signed off on it but his senate leader may have without notifying the governor.
Regardless, it's been learned that this week the governor will endorse using some of the state's surplus to buy down the school aid cut, so in the end, Ms. Whitmer will supposedly get what she wanted anyway.