Prusi "just says no" to the Senate Republican cuts made earlier to the budget, that they will protect their priorities of Promise grants, revenue sharing, Medicaid and early childhood education, that they will not be left out of the budget process - and if the final budget contains those cuts, they will not support it.
It’s unfortunate that my colleague from the 12th district, the majority leader, is in the back with the press, because the statement I’m about to make would be aimed basically at the majority leader, and I would hope that the press would have been here to cover it.
I want to reiterate something about the budget as well and reiterate some comments I made last week under statements about the priorities of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Now, there are a lot of media reports floating around about a so called “deal”, a budget deal, that moves closer and closer to the senate numbers. I just want to reiterate on behalf of this caucus that we stood up in June and July and May when we were doing the budget and we talked about our priorities of making sure the promise grants were funded, making sure that our investments in early childhood were funded, making sure that the local government of revenue sharing that provides police and fire protection for our communities was funded, and that the Medicaid cuts that were proposed under the majority’s budget had to be reversed.
Those priorities still stand with this caucus regardless of any deal that is cut in the back room with the promise of some magical revenue appearing after the budget is put to bed. This caucus will not support those cuts that were proposed earlier this year. We’ve demonstrated that time and time again and that if this budget does contain, the final budget, does contain those cuts this caucus will not stand behind that budget. We are willing to make difficult cuts, we are willing to make tough decisions, we are willing to work with all sides to get to a resolution of these issues that are so critical to Michigan as we allocate the state’s budget; but we will not be left out of the process, and we will not support budgets that do not contain priorities that have been demonstrated and discussed by this caucus throughout the intervening months.
Mr. President, I would like my remarks printed in the journal because those are the priorities that this caucus stands for and I have been instructed by my caucus to make sure that all parties involved understand that we will not be left out of this process and we will not stand back and allow these investments in Michigan’s future to be decimated by the budget that was passed by the majority here several months ago.
Somehwere, Mark Schauer is smiling.