From Peter Luke
"The budget is signed. State government will not shut down," Granholm said in a conference call with reporters. "This is the state budget we have, but it is not the budget we need."
Granholm blasted the Republican-controlled Senate's "extremist" ideology that she said fails to consider revenue options to restore funding for the eliminated Michigan Promise college scholarship, the 11 percent cut state aid to local governments, and 8 percent cut to Medicaid providers and the $127-per-pupil reduction she ordered last week in K-12 education.
"It is a budget I don't agree with and don't support," Granholm said.
"It makes cuts that are too deep and are too painful for kids going to college, families keeping their families health and keeping their streets safe."
The budget is largely the product of a September agreement by House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Twp., and Senate Majority Leader Michael Bishop, R-Rochester Hills, to close a $2.8 billion spending gap for general state services and schools -- half through cuts and half through using federal stimulus dollars. Granholm's efforts to insert nearly $700 million in new revenue into the agreement was rejected.
Dillon said Friday in a statement that Bishop broke his word to seek a middle ground approach that would include revenue to restore 2010 cuts after they took effect. Bishop has said repeatedly that there were no votes in his caucus for higher revenue beyond that already passed. Those include capping tax credits for low-wage families and film production in Michigan. The Senate tied the revenue to cuts in the Michigan Business Tax.
This is a lesser of two evils budget. It's a continuation, gimmick budget with no reforms. This is a George Bush budget. It's better than John Kerry or the tax increases, but that's not saying much. Why? Because we have no reforms, no structural changes, and the same problems going to happen next year and the year after. Already a 300+ billion shortfall is projected for next year.
I do get a laugh out of Granholm, the Matt Millen of Governors, once again blaming the GOP, when the democrats control two full branches of the Michigan government, and nearly control the 3rd.
The best news is that she's gone after next year. We can't do worse.