Just weeks ago, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop was huffing and puffing about how the Senate had passed a balanced budget and where’s the Democrats’s versions. Michigan’s governor, Jennifer Granholm, is a Democrat, and the State House is controlled by the Democrats.
A couple weeks ago, Bishop had my sympothy. To be sure, Granholm has been largely AWOL from the budget debate this year, which I find strange and unsettling. On top of that, the Michigan House took most of the summer off. How can this be? The year before mid-term elections, no less. Which doesn’t matter to me since I plan to vote for whoever is not an incumbent.
But now Bishop is being just as dispicable as his rivals by withholding budget bills from Gov. Granholm simply because it suits the Republican position. Just today Bishop said he’d likely send the 6 remaining bills to Granholm next week. He added “We’re trying to get specifics from the governor as to what her concerns are and see if we can’t resolve those before we send them to her.”
Um, Granholm’s been pretty clear about her priorities, which Bishop and the Republicans have refused to acknowledge. Granholm wants to fund Promise scholarships to college students, K-12 education, and revenue sharing to local governments. Police and fire often depend on revenue sharing funds. This isn’t new, so Bishop shouldn’t act like he doesn’t know. The reality is Bishop and the Republicans don’t want to raise taxes to fund these programs and neither side wants to cut other stuff to offset the cost of them.
In the meantime, Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford) didn’t attend negotiations between Granholm and Bishop. Dillon’s spokesman, Dan Farough, said, “Sometimes in politics, two’s company and three’s a crowd.”
So, here we are, two weeks into a continuation budget and two weeks before the next deadline. Don’t lose sight of the fact the legislature played slight-of-hand to pass a continuation bill, the only benefit of which was to prevent yet another black eye for Michigan. That doesn’t change the fact Michigan’s Senate, House, and Governor’s office refuse to work together in the interests of Michigan’s citizens.
There are still 6 budget bills to cross the Governor’s desk for signature and Bishop is holding on to them as pressure to get Gov. Granholm to just sign them last minute. For a guy who was on the high road just 2 weeks ago, Bishop’s now on the low road. And they wonder why I plan to vote for anyone who’s not an incumbent.