Thursday’s Michigan state budget talks ended with no deals. This despite House Speaker Andy Dillon saying a deal was close on Tuesday. The Democrat from Redford also promised marathon discussions for Thursday, but the negotiators decided they didn’t need that.
It’s not surprising there were no agreements on Thursday since Dillon spent part of the day testifying on his public employee health insurance bill. A faux-marathon session since Dillon scheduled other activities during the midst of it. Seems rather disingenuous to me.
Gov. Granholm (D) said cuts were probably not enough to balance the budget. She made those remarks Thursday in Saginaw after an energy forum with federal officials. So the governor didn’t devote all day Thursday to the budget, either. What’s up with that?
State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) is still waiting for Democratic budget proposals of substance. Last month, Bishop pointed out the Senate passed a balanced budget. It contains cuts the Democrats say they strongly oppose. But even after taking a budget planning retreat Wednesday, Democratic leaders have no counter-proposal.
Bishop said Republicans “are looking forward to a budget process that is transparent and clear, not held behind closed doors with unaccountable and unelected mediators.” However, there are no meetings today, the last of this year’s mandatory state worker furlough days. None over the holiday weekend, either. Come next week, the countdown to state government shutdown will be 23 days or 22 if talks don’t pick up until the House returns on Wednesday.
The Democratic legislators and governor have whiled away the summer with their heads in the sand. And the Governor fiddles with her pipe dreams while Michigan burns. As the Freep’s Stephen Henderson said:
[I]f Granholm were half the leader she promised to be when she ran, she’d be publicly charting a course toward a balanced budget, and rallying both Democrats and Republicans behind her ideas…
So for now, I’ll take Bishop’s damnable budget to a mythical one the governor won’t even reveal at a time when she should be front and center in public, fighting for what she says she believes so strongly.