Friday, March 23, 2007

GOP checks Granholm!

GOP slices budget, rejects 2% excise tax YIPEE!


LANSING — Senate Republicans on Thursday passed a $34-per-student cut for schools, then voted for hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to local governments, community corrections, health care and other programs after deciding Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposed spending rollbacks didn't go far enough.

The cutbacks are unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled House or be approved by the Democratic governor.

The GOP cuts are "bad for Michigan citizens," see below for some of these "bad" cuts Granholm's spokeswoman said. Senate Republicans also voted down Granholm's proposed 2 percent tax on most services.
Thank goodness! GOP to the rescue!
Granholm wants to bring in more tax revenue through the tax, A liberal wanting to raise taxes? ZZZZZZZZ
which would start June 1 and raise about $1.5 billion a year.

"We've been listening to the citizens of the state who've repeatedly said 'no' to new taxes," said Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester.
Yet they voted for Granholm? Tis a mystery
The Senate took up the tax bill Thursday and defeated it on a 22-16 vote. Sen. Glenn Anderson of Westland was the only Democrat who voted against it. Good for Senator Anderson

About the only place where Granholm and Senate Republicans saw eye-to-eye was on an executive order she issued Thursday afternoon. It included $344 million in cuts and other changes, which would cover more than one-third of the $940 million shortfall in the state budget.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the order Thursday afternoon.
It includes cuts in day care services for children of welfare recipients, long-term care services, training for new prison guards, foster care payments, job training grants, for whom? and the state library. ok I love to read but how many taxpayers actually use the state library on a consistent basis?

Senate Republicans didn't present their final list of $255.3 million in cuts, cutting more fat not tax increases and other changes until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, drawing the ire of Democrats who said they were being given no time to study the cuts before being forced to vote on them.

It was the first time Senate Republicans had revealed their entire list of cuts after insisting that the shortfall be dealt with through spending cuts and other changes. Granholm criticized Republicans for relying only on cuts and accounting changes to fill the gap, Gee wouldn't it be nice if when you got in a pinch you could just go over to your neighbor and demand money? However as a responsible adult, you make the necessary cuts and changes needed to pull yourself out of debt. Why shouldn't we expect the same from our elected officals??a criticism echoed Thursday night by Sen. Liz Brater, D-Ann Arbor.
"I'm not surprised it took you so long to unveil these cuts," she told GOP senators. "I'd be embarrassed, too."

The Republican plan would restore money to avoid state police layoffs, ok now this is a "crucial service" but took aim at other programs that have drawn GOP ire: An investment fund intended to encourage the growth of high-tech and biotech businesses; the Healthy Michigan Fund intended to improve residents' health; and state subsidies for adult home care workers in some counties.

Community health workers' wages would be cut, and welfare and food stamps would be reduced. I don't eat for free, do you? Its a reduction. The statutory portion of state revenue-sharing payments to cities and villages would drop nearly 10 percent. So it will up to local citizens of these cities and villages to determine where to cut their own fat. Many state departments, the Legislature and the judiciary would be cut 4 percent.

Bishop said he realizes some of the proposed cuts are unpopular but added: "We cannot afford everything we want."
Could we shout this from the rooftops!!!

It's unclear if Democrats, who control the House, will approve the governor's executive order. Dan Farough, a spokesman for House Democrats, said the caucus and Granholm are united in wanting a broad solution that will head off year-after-year budget bailouts.

The state faces a shortfall of at least $1 billion in the budget year that starts Oct. 1. But yet the Democrats are unclear?! But how Thursday's executive order fits into that equation is not as clear, at least within the 10-day timeframe that the House Appropriations Committee has to vote on it.

"Whether the executive order is passed in the current timeline or is incorporated as part of an overall, complete solution is still being decided," Farough said.
Oh yeah we can afford to stall while you liberals try to cook up a new way to slip in a tax

House Speaker Andy Dillon, a Democrat from Wayne County's Redford Township, said during a Thursday news conference with Granholm that he plans to offer fresh ideas See comment above when House Democrats draft their plan in the next month to deal with this year's deficit and the budget for the next fiscal year.

He wouldn't say if they'll support the service tax, although most Democrats say a tax increase of some kind is needed to protect crucial state services. Ok who sees daycare for welfare recipients and the state library as a "crucial state service"?

Senate Democrats repeated that criticism during the debate on the per-pupil cuts, which reduce total school aid by about $57.4 million.
"We should be thinking about we can invest in public education, not how we can take money away from kids in public education," said Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor.
Are you kidding? Michigan spends more than the national average on education and is fourth for teacher's salary! Good grief, parents should be demanding more results considering the money they spend now!

Republicans countered that it was a small amount for schools to have to make up in the two months remaining in the school year and that a tax increase this budget year was unacceptable. AMEN! Some districts have warned they'll have to lay off teachers if their state aid is cut at this point in the school year.

The decrease would drop the minimum per-pupil grant from $7,085 to $7,031, although some school districts now get more than $12,000 per student. That's $12,000, per student taxpayers!!! Holy Moly! It's unlikely the cuts to K-12 schools will pass the House or be approved by Granholm.

The Senate plan would resolve most of the $377.4 million shortfall in the $13.1 billion school aid budget by making accounting shifts in how retirement funds are counted and refinancing debt. Now were talking! Granholm hates this as she is beholding to the teacher union and MEA, and most of any new increases in funding for education would never see the classroom but would instead go for funding teacher's pensions. It also would make small cuts in categorical grants and in support for intermediate school districts.

The school spending bill passed 20-18, mostly along party lines. Sen. Roger Kahn of Saginaw was the only Republican to join Democrats in voting against the bill. BOO Sen. Kahn

Granholm's executive order also postpones millions of dollars in payments to universities and community colleges, and changes the way the retirement of their employees and state workers are calculated for accounting purposes.

Mike Boulus of the Presidents' Council, which represents the 15 state universities, said schools could deal with delayed state support until the new budget year starts Oct. 1. But he's a little worried about whether the state's ongoing budget woes will enable it to pay the money then.
"It's a small price to pay to help the state — if in fact we get our money back in October," Boulus said. "If we don't, that could be an issue."

Well at Lansing Community College they could start by cutting some of the inane classes and then require students to take American history and government to get their Associates Degree instead of ridiculous core classes like"diversity in the work place"

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