Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Deep Breath Open Thread

New Pure Michigan Fall TV ad. Enjoy.

Now take a deep breath, and ponder on the word "deal" for a moment.

House Speaker Andy Dillon says the chamber is prepared to move budget bills that reduce cuts to scholarships, Medicaid providers and local governments by raising revenues he declined to specify.

“There’s a deal, you’ll see it as it evolves,” Dillon said Friday as the House ended its work for the evening. “The big areas of concern that I had have been resolved.”

Dillon said “we are going to move revenue in the make certain that our priorities are taken care of, the Promise scholarship, police and fire, Medicaid, early education. You’ll see revenues we believe are necessary to make certain the cuts aren’t too deep.”

Alrighty. According to my main man Peter Luke, Dillon has a list of revenue "saleable and acceptable to the public", but he has not shared that list with his caucus yet. Mike Bishop hasn't made any promises about anything, but then again he had a teabag rally to attend on Mackinac, so maybe the flip-flop is coming next week. And Bishop, who practically giggled about how they had cut Governor Granholm out of these negotiations, is now taking the decidedly schizophrenic position of repeatedly accusing her of not being involved in the budget talks - but her voice on this week's radio address about saving the Pure Michigan campaign begs to differ. She's been talking quite a bit.

And as Cushingberry recently said once again, "the governor proposes, the legislature disposes", so it's all on them in the end anyway. Governor issued a statement last night that echoes that sentiment:

"Legislative leaders have made a decision to leave town without finishing the critical work on the budget they've had seven months to complete. Putting off the tough decisions will not alter the choices they face, which are clear: Stand up for the priorities of quality schools, access to health care for seniors, and adequate police and fire protection or make deep, devastating cuts that threaten our families, our security and our economy. Their main constitutional duty is to pass a budget, and they need to do their job."

It's not clear when legislators will "do their job". WOOD TV says this morning that the House is off today, they may or may not come in Sunday, and they are supposed to be off Monday for Yom Kippur.

So take a deep breath this weekend, and get prepared for what happens next. Knowing how these guys operate, it should be quite a show.