Monday, December 19, 2011

Michigan Legislature Offers More Fiscal Destruction

I heard on NPR this morning that the Republican held Michigan Legislature snuck a bundle of legislative uglies onto the calendar for the Wednesday right after Christmas, when they figure no one pays attention. Probably, they are correct that fewer eyes will scrutinize their misdealings. But, the evil that lurks on that calendar in various stages of the law making process might sadden even the most cynical observer. It's worth a look.

Most of the lawmaking seeks to screw wage-earning people out their hard-earned money, and funneling the filthy lucre to the corporations who own Michigan Republican representatives and keep the revolving door money-go-round spinning. (Bust unions, privatize government functions, bankrupt public education to replace it with for-profit schools, cut business taxes, eliminate environmental regulation -- do all that, and you're sure to find a corporate or lobbyist sinecure waiting for you when you term-limit out of state government) Hoo-rah! Read up. Be informed. Maybe "we" won't vote for them next time. Maybe...

Have a look at Follow The Money, a site devoted to state campaign finance information. See where your representatives get the juice for their campaigns. And who they owe favors to.

And give some thought to the Republican devised Starve The Beast approach to governance.

The list is long, so I give you my favorites:

No. 103

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
11:30 A.M.

HB 4445 Rep. Moss
Appropriations; supplemental; school aid supplemental; provide for fiscal year 2010-2011.
Amends secs. 11, 11m, 22a, 22b, 51a, 51c & 74 of 1979 PA 94 (MCL 388.1611 et seq.).
(Returned from Senate with Senate substitute (S-1) and immediate effect; laid over 1 day November 10, 2011.)
(I.E. House April 13, 2011.)
(For Senate substitute (S-1), see Session Website.)

The 2011/2012 education appropriation bill cuts about $200 million from public education (analysis/breakdown). I know a lot of this stuff is mandated by law, and I know this was a done deal months ago, but laws and deals can be changed, and for example, reducing education spending because homeowner property value assessments decreased seems short-sighted (the cost of education didn't decrease, so those homeowners' children will receive less "education)." Further, about $30 million was saved in reduced borrowing costs (due to reduced interest rates), but was cut from the budget instead of re-directed to education needs. Seriously. Our "need" for education did not diminish by $200 million in one year, so is it not logical to find the money for something as important as education?
And lo, these cuts comes at the same time that our illustrious governor eliminated corporate taxes on all but C corporations. The governor suggests corporate tax cuts translate into more jobs. They don't. And if we are less well-educated, we are less able to secure what jobs there are.
SJR C Sen. Jansen
Labor; civil service employment; health benefits of public employees and officers; allow legislature to regulate.
Amends the state constitution by adding sec. 9 to art. XI.
(Reported by the Committee on Oversight, Reform, and Ethics.)
(Not adopted; motion to reconsider postponed temporarily June 30, 2011.)
(Reconsidered; passed for day August 24, 2011.)
(For House substitute (H-2), see Session Website.)
(Requires 2/3 vote for adoption, Const. 1963, Art. 4, Sec. 43.)

This bill prevents public employee unions from negotiating health insurance plans -- the legislature, helpfully, intends to do it for them.

HB 4466 Rep. Scott
Labor; public service employment; changes in provisions concerning teacher strikes; provide for.
Amends secs. 2a & 6 of 1947 PA 336 (MCL 423.202a & 423.206).
(Reported by the Committee on Education.)
(For proposed House substitute (H-2), see Session Website.)

This law means to prevent teachers from going on strike, or if it fails to that, it will fine teachers a day's pay for every day they are on strike, and threaten them with revocation of their license to teach. It will also fine their union $5,000 / day on strike. And I thought Republicans hated intrusive laws.

No comments:

Post a Comment

share your thoughts...