Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford) must have really enjoyed taking the summer off. Since returning to Lansing, he’s been quite the news item. Of note, he introduced legislation and released more detail on his public employee health insurance plan, a concept worth considering. On the other hand, he’s spent the last week out in left field.
On September 9th, Dillon spoke to a conference of the Foundation Institute in Detroit. In his remarks, Dillon called Michigan’s political system dysfunctional. This is Dillon’s third, and final, term in the Michigan House, so I guess he can say that now. He went on to whine, “Be prepared for a long, painful slide and the reality that you’ll lose nine out of 10 battles.” And then he had the gall to warn potential candidates they have to live within the $79,650 annual legislator’s salary. What he didn’t mention was the additional $12,000 per diem each legislator gets nor that they get paid whether they work or not, like the House not being in session the last couple months. Did I mention Michigan’s legislature is the second-highest paid state legislature, only behind California?
Just a day later, Democrat Dillon shat on the Democrat governor’s budget proposal:
The governor should know that showboating a proposal that has no chance of passing is not a way to solve the state’s fiscal crisis. All parties need to put theatrics and demands aside and get back to the hard work of negotiating a budget solution.
Now Dillon is ready to accept the Senate’s $1.2 billion in cuts. Only he hopes the Republicans will add funding for key Democratic concerns: Promise grants for post-secondary education, early childhood development, and local revenue sharing (which is painted as police and fire). Does Dillon realize Granholm won’t sign a budget without Promise grants? Hasn’t he ever heard that hope is not a method?
Better yet, does Andy Dillon realize how obviously he has, as Michigan’s House Speaker rolled over to the Senate Majority Leader? Mr. Dillon, maybe dysfunctional is an understatement!