Monday, September 11, 2006

Our MI Legislature- A study in wasting time and money

Jobs and the economy are of utmost importance, so the MI Senate this week is going to spend their time on bills that place undue burden on pregnant women and health care providers, and once again go after the Board of Canvassers.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state Senate panel this week is expected to consider legislation that would require abortion clinics to screen women to determine if they have been coerced or intimidated into ending their pregnancies.

The Senate Health Policy Committee scheduled a Wednesday meeting on the legislation, which Republicans say it is an attempt to crack down on domestic violence. Some Democrats say the bills are an effort to discourage women from seeking abortions.

The legislation would make it illegal to coerce or intimidate a woman into seeking an abortion and give them some recourse through civil lawsuits. Screening on whether a woman has been coerced into having an abortion would have to take place at least 24 hours before the procedure.

Hope the Guv has the veto pen ready. Proving coercion would be a difficult if not impossible task (he said, she said- going to take that to court? I don't think so) and besides, this is just designed to restrict the right to choice, as with all abortion bills these clowns cook up. They do not care one whit about domestic violence or women; they care about serving their religious right base. And that's it.

Veto number two-

Also this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday may vote on GOP-backed legislation addressing the Board of State Canvassers, which handles proposed measures for the statewide ballot.

Currently, decisions made by the Bureau of State Elections related to the sufficiency of signatures gathered for ballot measures must be approved by the four-member board. The legislation would let the bureau's determinations stand unless reversed by a majority of the elections board.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has vetoed various GOP bills that would strip powers from the board.

So this one probably isn't going anywhere, either. And, you, Michigan, are paying for it.

Meanwhile, Craig DeRoche had plenty of time to throw a hissy fit to reporters last week, complaining about problems that his own party created. Looks like Craig has been riding without his helmet again. It's either that or he has been instructed by his puppet master to cause a distraction that will keep the other children from getting their work done.

Michigan House Speaker Craig DeRoche accused Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her administration of widespread failures in the management of child protection and prisons Thursday.

DeRoche, R-Novi, said the recent deaths of children and prisoners under the state’s care have reached "crisis level" but are being ignored for political purposes.

This sounds so incredibly... insane... coming from a man who voted to eliminate the very budget that takes cares of such things, and that little stunt was done for "political purposes".

Did Craig point out that it has been Republicans who have called to cut funding for these programs?

Didn't think so.

DeRoche unloaded on Granholm and her top aides in the departments of Human Services and Corrections at an impromptu session with reporters on the House floor Thursday morning.

"What we’re saying … in case after case…is outright failure," DeRoche said. "These cases are being swept under the rug for political expedience. People are dying; it needs to be fixed."

Wow, Craig, perhaps you would like to introduce some... oh, I don't know... LEGISLATION on this very subject? Since your party controls the agenda at the Capitol, seems to me that you are the one that can actually DO something about it.

But Craig won't. I think Craig is only bitching because Dick told him to. And you know it.

Craig, last year on the budget-

DeRoche is a Novi Republican who has advocated against increasing taxes and fees to pay for state programs and services.

Instead, he and other GOP representatives want to limit spending.

The massive spending plan proposed and approved by the House's GOP majority in June includes large reductions, including eliminating Medicaid benefits for thousands of low-income residents and ending welfare payments to people who have received state aid for more than four years.

Source Citation: The Grand Rapids Press -August 25, 2005

And from the Lansing State Journal, also last year-

State funding for the Department of Human Services has dropped 9.5 percent since 2000-01, from $1.3 billion to $1.15 billion this year.

Granholm has proposed a bump of 2.6 percent next year, but it's possible the department will get far less of an increase as lawmakers wrangle over a $773 million hole in the state budget.

And GOP lawmakers have targeted several programs for cuts. In the past, the brunt of funding shortfalls were made up through early retirement options and hiring freezes.

As a result, staff levels have dropped nearly 20 percent, going from about 13,000 workers to 10,500. That has meant fewer people overseeing adoptions, foster care, and child abuse and neglect cases.


The department thus far is slated to receive an increase in state funding next year - $30 million under Gov. Jennifer Granholm's plan to spend $1.18 billion on social services. A Senate subcommittee cut the increase to $12.3 million.

But Republican lawmakers have targeted some specific programs for cutting, including eliminating training for child protective workers.

We won't even get into the problems with the prison health care system, something that is partly caused by privitization- which, of course, the Republicans support and is proving to be a failure in a lot of cases. It's really not the point.

The point is Craig DeRoche and Republicans like him are the problem here. They create the "crisis level" by refusing to fund the solutions; for them to turn around and cry about the consequences of their actions seems rather... juvenile.

Or calculated.

Who is playing politics now?

For a bunch of people who ran around with their hair on fire screaming about fixing the state's economy, they sure have a lot of time to waste on other things.

These guys are utterly worthless.