Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Where is the House Plan, Speaker Dillon?

Governor releases budget plan to public. Governor gets accused of "showboating" by the man who only last week got around to asking his caucus what they want to do about the budget. How nice.

If you ever wondered what side of the fence Dillon falls on, wonder no more. Kathy Barks Hoffman gives us the goods - and it becomes very apparent that, once again, the House IS the problem here.

"The Senate has a plan. We have a plan," she said. "We now need for the House to move their plan. ... Once that is done, then everybody has their parameters staked out and we can move forward."

Granholm said it was her understanding that House Speaker Andy Dillon, a Democrat from Wayne County's Redford Township, planned to start moving new budget bills Wednesday. But Dillon spokeswoman Abby Rubley said Tuesday that no budget bills were on Wednesday's House agenda.

"The governor should know that showboating a proposal that has no chance of passing is not a way to solve the state's fiscal crisis," Dillon said in a statement. "All parties need to put theatrics and demands aside and get back to the hard work of negotiating a budget solution."

Do they now. Seems that some "parties" had no problem putting on theatrics last Thursday when they took some more time away from the budget debate to put on a show for the media concerning their own personal agenda for reforming health care for state employees. And some "parties" had no problem letting the Republicans take shots at the Democrats that very same day concerning the budget talks that were supposed to be in a "marathon" session - but for some reason broke up early. Could that be because some "parties" had no idea what his caucus would accept at that point, and therefore had nothing to negotiate?

All sides said the talks were productive, but there was no mistaking the swipes at Democrats in statements issued by Republican leaders late in the day.


"I'm disappointed that the state is in the shadows of another government shutdown after the House Democrats' summer vacation and when the ideas proposed today start to move in the form of legislation, then we'll know they are serious," said House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer, R-Kewadin.

Matt Marsden, spokesman for Bishop, said the business leaders brought along reform proposals, many of which Republican legislators had offered.

"These are long-term ideas that won't have an immediate impact on the budget we're dealing with," Marsden said.

Bill Nowling, spokesman for Elsenheimer, said the meeting was productive "from the standpoint that Democrats started taking a serious look at reforms."

Surely the House Dems would have something to say to all of that, right? An encouraging word? A vow to stand up for the things that are important to Michigan citizens?

Abby Rubley, spokeswoman for House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, had no comment on the talks.

Par for the course. "No comment" is the standard answer for the House Dems, as far as Speaker Dillon's office is concerned. Was going to let all that slide, but it's probably important to point out this pattern of behavior of letting the Republicans get all their talking points out to the press, while the Democrats appear that they don't have anything to say - and then they wonder why support for the party slips.

So now we just have to ask, where is the House plan for the budget? The clock is ticking, another shutdown is looming, and some "parties" better get moving on this soon - or own the consequences.