An update on where things are now:
Governor Granholm is standing firm on rejecting some of these cuts. Keep in mind, her proposal cut very deep in the first place, but the scope of the Bishop/Dillon cuts will, in her words, "hurt Michigan". Gongwer sources claim that she is telling aides, "I'm not running for anything", and is not worried about the political fallout from stopping this so-called "bipartisan" deal if need be. Granholm issued a statement last night praising the Senate Democrats' plan that "protects Michigan citizens from harmful budget cuts to public safety and education programs". Since she mentioned them twice, it's pretty easy to tell which "Democrats" the governor is siding with on this issue.
As far as a veto, it's not clear how it would work. Peter Luke reported that Dillon is considering lumping all the budgets together as one single bill to try and ram it through the legislature and tie her hands on the matter. This would appear to eliminate a line-item "correction" that could be made (Gongwer again):
Officials said if the Legislature moves ahead with the budget agreement reached by Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) and House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford Twp.) then they would expect to see either a continuation budget take place on October 1, or so many line item vetoes that the proposal would be unrecognizable.
If the second scenario took place, under this thinking, legislative Republicans would be forced to come back to the negotiating table to restore a variety of programs they support by reaching agreement on reducing the impact of the cuts in the agreement.
While the speculation among many observers is that Ms. Granholm would sign the budget, or at least not veto it, in order to prevent a shutdown of state government, aides say she is not wavering from her belief that the budget would hurt the state in the long term.
Senator Prusi made this stunning statement about the budget yesterday, "I will be encouraging my grandchildren to leave the state because if we go down this road we would not have a state worth living in." Tells you where the Senate Democrats are on this.
As far as the House Democrats go, apparently they are waking up to the numbers and finding that they just can't get there from here. Alma Wheeler Smith said of the Corrections budget:
Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.), chair of the corrections budget, said of her $78 million in cuts, "I can't get $28 (million) in cuts."
She said she would propose changing the state's truth-in-sentencing laws in order to cut the number of prisoners and save money, but she was certain Senate Republicans would reject that approach.
Rep. Gary McDowell (D-Rudyard), looked at the Community Health budget that would "literally put Michigan residents out on the streets" and asked, "Where do they go?" Gongwer claims that House Democrats are concerned about getting enough votes to pass the deal, which probably means that Dillon would have to rely on Republican votes to get this through the House.
And if you haven't figured out that Speaker Dillon is doing the bidding of Mike Bishop and the Senate Republicans yet, just check this next statement from Marsden:
Of the possible doubt among Democrats, Bishop spokesperson Matt Marsden said Mr. Bishop trusts that Mr. Dillon "will be able to deliver what he needs to deliver to get this accomplished."
As reported yesterday, Senate Republicans are downplaying, if not flat-out rejecting compromises and other ideas to solve this problem. Their stance has been to immediately fall back on the "signed" agreement with Dillon. It appears that they are dead-set on seeing these "bipartisan" cuts go through (meaning they can hold them against Democrats later), period, and will not commit to any supplemental bills that might be proposed.
City leaders, school officials and community groups are rounding up the torches and pitchforks, declaring that this budget threatens, well, everyone. They reject the idea of trying to pass something later to restore cuts, and are now rallying House Democrats and the Governor to reject Dillon's deal with Bishop. This sentence said it best:
One official described the mood as one of "collective shock" that House Democratic leaders would essentially embrace the Senate Republican plan to enact deep cuts in college scholarships, Medicaid, revenue sharing and K-12 education.
Following is the list of cuts, all credit goes to the AP. Keep in mind it is not complete, the categories fall a little different (there are 15 budgets overall), and the numbers are based on the Senate Republican budgets that passed in June.
Family Assistance and other Human Services
List Source: Detroit News/AP
Other source on quotes and numbers:Gongwer News Service.