Friday, February 15, 2008

Senate Republicans try to blow up budget. Again.

"You really get the feeling that this is a time, as much as possible, for us to come together and work with the governor" -Nancy Cassis, Detroit Free Press story on the budget, Feb. 8

Well, that lasted * looks at watch * all of one week. Yesterday, the Senate Republicans voted on cuts to the MBT that have the potential of costing the state $850 million dollars.

Are ya feelin' the bipartisan love yet?

Changes to the Michigan Business Tax that could cost the state anywhere from $550 million to $850 million this fiscal year passed the Senate on straight party line votes on Thursday. Supporters said the four bills - SB 1038, SB 1053, SB 1054 and SB 1058 - would correct some issues under the tax that would cost businesses, but opponents said the bills were Valentine's Day gifts to business lobbyists that would force changes in the budget.

All four bills passed on 21-17 votes, Republicans voting in favor of the bills, Democrats voting against.

No way these cuts get through the House or the governor, but it sure looks good on paper to those that fund the Michigan Republican Party coffers.

Sen. Mike Prusi (D-Ishpeming) said the bills represent gifts to business lobbyists. "All the sweethearts out in the lobby got their chocolate, diamonds, furs and their exemption and exclusions," he said.

If the bills were to pass, then Ms. Granholm would have to redo the budget just announced, Mr. Prusi said.

But Sen. Nancy Cassis (R-Novi), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said since the MBT was passed last summer businesses have come to them with concerns about various issues the bills address.

So much for working with the governor. Business interests come first for the Senate Republicans, even though it's a colossal waste of time for the rest of us. Did they vote on what they were going to cut to pay for this?

Didn't think so.