Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday On My Mind

In the news today...

  • The Freep noticed the Senate Republicans coming after the working people to pay for their business tax cuts. Blowback time.

    The idea, which came as a Senate panel moved this week to kill the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) surcharge, should go nowhere.

    Federal and state earned income tax credits reduce taxes and supplement wages for low- and moderate-income workers. Michigan's Earned Income Tax Credit was worth up to $480 last year and could provide eligible families with twice that amount in 2009.

    Roughly 700,000 Michigan households qualified for the state Earned Income Tax Credit in 2008, the first year it was available. Jansen says freezing the credit would save the state $175 million next year. But penalizing so many vulnerable families during perhaps the worst economy since the Great Depression isn't just unconscionable; it's bad economic policy for the whole state.

    The governor did as well, mentioning it first thing in her radio address today.

    Yes, Republicans, keep coming after the poor and working people on your "more tax cuts" strategy - it's a sure way back to victory in these tough economic times.

  • Speaking of tough times, the state is looking for summer sponsors to serve meals to hungry kids.

    Last year, 510,000 low-income Michigan children qualified for the Summer Food Service Program, but only around 69,000, 14 percent, had access to sites to receive meals in their neighborhoods. The program is administered by the state with funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    If there is an organization in your area that can help out, have them get in touch with the Dept. of Education at or call (517)373-3347.

  • The man in the ice that became a nationwide story now has a name - Johnny Redding. May he rest in peace.

  • There is a rumor floating that 2000 state employees may be laid off due to budget cuts. This gave Senator Alan Sanborn (R-Worse Than Cassis) a case of the vapors.

    Macomb County Republican Alan Sanborn calls the news a "ploy."

    "That's what she typically does, threatens layoffs because she's not willing to make the truly tough cuts," Sanborn told Skubick. "That will raise a public outcry and I think that's what this is designed to do."

    Hmmmm. When Mike Bishop wanted to let go of 14,000 state employees to balance the budget in '07, I don't seem to recall Sanborn having a problem with it. I even did a search and everything... nope. Wasn't an issue. Imagine that.

  • For the third year in a row, less trash went into Michigan landfills. Good deal.

  • Fred Upton is invited to Obama's Super Bowl party at the WH. What's up with that.

  • Bishop proposes combining the DNR and the DEQ; departments that were separated under John "Less Government" Engler back in 1991. Granholm had the idea back in 2002. Seeing as how the Pubs controlled the legislature back then, I wonder what I would find if I searched on that...

  • Anyway, the State of the State Address is next Tuesday at 7PM. Not much is being released on it yet. With the budget being in flux - bet it's hard to make any serious plans until we know more...

    Gov. Jennifer Granholm plans to offer a "no frills" speech in her seventh annual State of the State address. The Democratic governor will lay out her plan for the year ahead during an hour-long address Tuesday night at the Capitol.

    Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Friday that the state's tight budget will require the governor to stick to three priorities: job creation, protecting families, and training and education.

    BFM will be covering the State of the State Address - both with a live blog and Twitter updates! And this year I don't have a broken arm (knock on wood), so I will shoot the hell out of the thing!