Monday, October 12, 2009

Granholm to Use Line Item Veto to "Fight for Priorities"

There's my governor.

She said Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop's strategy "is not clear to me," adding she's heard Bishop, R-Rochester, "is afraid I am going to veto portions of those bills. He's correct. I am."

Granholm reiterated that some of the budget cuts go "far too deep." She said she's made it clear she wants funding for Promise grants for college students, revenue sharing local governments use for police and fire protection and Medicaid health care that covers the poor and seniors in nursing homes.

"It's my intention to fight for those priorities," she said. "I will veto things I don't think are as important as the priorities I've defined."

Granholm called Bishop's apparent attempt to bring about another shut down by holding budget bills until the last minute "foolish" - words sure to incite another hissy fit from the Senate, just wait for it. The DNews points out she can't put money back in the budget, but she can use that creative veto to fund these priorities.

The governor acknowledged she cannot add money to budgets with her veto pen, but noted she has the authority to transfer money from items she vetoes to her priorities through the little-known State Administrative Board -- a body stacked with her cabinet appointees.

"I'm not saying I will do that," she said. "I'm saying it's an option."

And it's not like there is a lot of loose money out there to shift around in the first place, but it should be interesting to see what she comes up with. Granholm said the MBT surcharge cut attached to school funding is "not an acceptable trade" due to the future budget imbalance it would create. She also signed three budget bills today - corrections, education and transportation - and has already done some of that good 'ol line-item vetoin' already. People seem to forget that she is well-practiced at this sort of thing, having had to deal with both budget issues and a Republican legislature in her first term. The only difference now is that while Ken Sikkema was a semi-sane individual and could work for bipartisan compromise, Mike Bishop has the temperament of a two-year old and apparently will not do any such thing.

Game on.

The Freep has more.