Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm appeared to be holding out hope that Congress will revive a measure that would give Michigan an estimated $560 million in additional federal money to help provide health care for the poor. The Medicaid measure appeared to be dead in the U.S. Senate, but Democrats say they haven't given up the fight for the legislation that would assist Michigan and several other states with budget problems.
Meanwhile, Republicans who run the Michigan Senate were drawing up plans to make more budget cuts on the theory that the federal money isn't going to materialize. Lawmakers already have passed a budget bill that will preserve funding for public schools, but other programs covered by the state's general fund — including universities, health care and tax revenue-sharing payments made to local governments — could face further cuts.
"Every cut so far that we've proposed is going to be deeper," Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop said Wednesday. "That's about as specific as I can be right now."
Bishop can't wait to dump this problem on the heads of city officials, college presidents, and health care providers. He wants to cut, cut, cut - and pass those back-door tax increases on to you, hard-working citizen of Michigan.
Ready to pay more for college tuition? Ready to lose more cops and firefighters from your cities and towns, raising your insurance rates and putting your family and valuables in danger? Ready to see your health insurance premiums rise again, as hospitals look to recoup the cost of the loss of funding by raising their rates? At a time when Michigan should look to invest in its people, infrastructure, and quality of life issues to attract new business and investment in the state, Republicans are obviously dead set on destroying what we have left - and then blaming the Democrats for the resulting damage.
What will Andy Dillon do to stop that from happening?
* crickets *
It's been two years running now that Dillon and the House Democrats have not provided a coherent budget plan. They will not vote for cuts, they will not vote for reforms, they will not vote for revenue, they will let the Republicans take charge of this situation - and then they will probably whine like children and blame Granholm, who HAS provided the best budget plan out there, when they lose the election this year.
This is ridiculous, and not what we voted for when we gave the Democrats this large majority in the House. Andy Dillon is in the best possible position to fight for his campaign promises RIGHT NOW. If he can't get his plans through his own caucus with this kind of majority, how does he ever hope to do it as governor?
Waiting for the answer...