Thursday, June 11, 2009

One Month Later, Bishop Slams Police Cuts That Senate Approved

What is it with the Republicans and the Delayed Outrage Reaction problems they are having lately? Is this some new psychological condition, or have they simply mastered the art of dragging out the drama for as long as they can to put on a show for the press/public? Wait, don't answer that...

Like Land before him, Mike Bishop has suddenly discovered that - gasp! - we are making cuts to the budget, and every department has been asked to participate. The Department of State Police themselves suggested these layoffs, the Senate approved of them, and a month later, Bishop awakes from his coma and sounds the alarm that he let the horse out of the barn, but it was somebody else's fault. Or something like that.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, sharply criticized the Michigan State Police today for plans to lay off 104 rookie patrol troopers as part of a budget-cutting plan enacted last month by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and lawmakers.

But a spokesperson for Granholm said Bishop knew about the layoffs when the GOP-led Senate Appropriations Committee approved her order to cut $304 million from the state budget.
Matter of fact, it was right at the top of this DNews story from May 4th, "Mich. budget cuts to lay off 100 state troopers", and at the time, Marsden had this to say after the cuts were agreed to by the House and Senate...

"Nobody's going to be happy," said Matt Marsden, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop. "This was a difficult situation given the amount of time left in the fiscal year (about five months)."
... but almost five weeks later, Bishop is suddenly "sharply critical" for the cameras, and, to top off the hypocrisy tank, he claims that others are playing "politics". How he does that with a straight face, we will never know.

Bishop said there should be other ways for the State Police to absorb its $4.7-million budget cut rather than affect public safety. He called the trooper layoffs “pure politics, it’s a way to say to the world we’ve lost our mind, our priorities are lost and we’re not focusing on law enforcement.”
You would think that stuff would have come up before you voted for it, but maybe it plays better to public fear to wait until well after it's done, when you can just mouth the words "reform" once again, and never offer any specific plans on how you would pay for it.

He added, “There are other areas in the State Police that could be modified or reformed to pull them into the 21st Century. We’re not seeing that right now. We have to rethink services altogether.”
Senator Bishop has been saying that for a long time now, but never quite seems to come up with any viable plans for funding state services. All he can say is "cut". Said it again today. Liz Boyd informed the viewing audience that the Senate is calling for $4 million more in cuts to the state police, and Bishop also turned around and told the AP that he would come up with $1.2B in cuts in total. How he does that without touching the police or the Dept. of Corrections has yet to be seen.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop told reporters Thursday morning he's confident other Republicans will support steep cuts despite some Republicans agreeing two years ago to raise taxes to end a budget standoff. The Senate is expected to start passing parts of the budget later in the day.
Yeah, funny story about that as well. MIRS reports that the Republicans tried to move some budgets yesterday, gave the Democrats 20 minutes to look them over, the Democrats wanted them on the official record as to what was in those budgets and asked that it be read. The Republicans promptly pitched a fit and left for the day. They also blamed the Democrats for playing politics there as well, and want to claim that this will put them behind schedule. And they are the ones that left.

Matt MARSDEN, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mike BISHOP (R-Rochester) said the Senate is now behind schedule. The upper chamber is now slated to vote on these budget bills Thursday, as well as Agriculture, Michigan State Police and Transportation.

"We're going to come back like grown-ups," he said. "We hope the other side does the same and doesn't decide to blow everything up with their games."
Pretty obvious who is playing games here. It's the guy who waited a month to be "outraged" by cuts he allowed, promises even deeper cuts to come, won't tell anyone what they are, followed by the rest of the Republican leadership that shut down the Senate yesterday when someone asked to actually read the bill before they voted on it.

Glad to hear that the Republicans plan to act like "grown-ups" today - but we won't hold our breath. They probably will at some point though.

It would be an improvement.

UPDATE: After all this fuss for the press today, it turns out that the Senate doesn't have a plan to restore that trooper funding after all.

The Legislature adjourned Thursday without voting to restore funding for the troopers. The Senate had been expected to vote. But senators have not agreed on where to cut so troopers can keep their jobs.
Of course they haven't. Just wait until they try to do $1.2B.