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    Tag: Moss

    Opportunities abound

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Fri Mar 04, 2011 at 11:03:41 AM EST
    Tags: Granholm, Civil service commission, Knollenberg, Moss, MacGregor, Crawford, Genetski, Agema, Lund, Zorn, Poleski, Jacobsen, McMillin, Opsommer, Johnson, Farrington, Lyons, Somerville, Tyler, Huuki, Horn, Kowall, Callton, Outman, Bumstead, Damrow, Rogers, Forlini, Gilbert, Haveman, Heise, Hooker, Pscholka, Lori, Potvin, Daley, Kurtz, Olson (all tags)

    Marty Knollenberg makes a good point.

    The Republican state representative from Troy discusses the possibility of abolishing the Michigan civil service commission. The commission, he argues, has "ignored the constitution, the Legislature, the will of the people and common sense."  From the Detroit News commentary:

    "Let me explain. The Civil Service Commission recently included "other eligible individuals and their dependents" as recipients of state health care benefits. This is ridiculous. These could include any roommate, distant cousin, or live-in boyfriend or girlfriend. The only requirement for this $4,000 to $17,000 yearly health care benefit package is that they must live with a state employee for a year. What a deal and at the expense of the taxpayer."


    And it seems to follow the point on legitimacy of 'marriage' being used as a term for the unions of same sex couples.  Its about the money.  And in this case they step even further out onto the fringe.  That fringe, as in 'fringe benefits' for all who seemingly associate with state government workers.  Whether or not we can afford it, or if it even makes sense.

    What makes sense is the next step of action by Knollenberg and the rest.  Eliminating the problem by pulling out the roots.  ~ below ~

    (11 comments, 412 words in story) Full Story

    House GOP unveiling plan to balance budget with GIANT reforms, cuts... and we've got a copy!

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 08:26:22 AM EST
    Tags: Budget deficit, GOP, Elsenheimer, Moss, conservatives, Republicans, cuts, reforms, tax hikes (all tags)

    Republicans acting like Republicans.  Novel concept.  I like it.  Muy much!

    RightMichigan has learned that this morning in Grand Rapids, Michigan House Republican Leader Kevin Elsenheimer and the caucus will be unveiling a genuinely sweeping package of budget cuts and reforms that won't only balance the books and eliminate the Granholm-Cherry administration's $1.8 billion budget deficit, it'll also free up $700 million in federal "stimulus" funds the Democrats were planning to burn on the bloated bureaucracy.  

    And all of that without raising taxes a nickel.  Which would also be a pleasant switch.

    The "Reinvigorate, Reinvest & Reform Plan" is being described by House Republicans as a comprehensive package of government reforms, targeted budget cuts and prioritized spending that protect the most essential of government services while freeing up nearly $700 million in federal stimulus funds that can be used to invest in programs that create jobs and help pump life back into Michigan's languishing economy.

    "This is a plan that shows the budget can be solved without raising taxes - it offers tangible solutions and real savings for this and next year's budget. There is no fuzzy math, no hidden agendas or falsehoods here," said Elsenheimer (R-Kewadin).

    "We offer this plan to majority caucuses, the governor, the State Budget office and most importantly, the taxpayers of Michigan. It's one solution to our crisis and anyone is welcome to use some or all parts of it. We have no pride of authorship, we only want to help balance the budget and put Michigan on the right track."

    Love that last line.  A little bit of selflessness and genuine interest in solving problems goes a long way in my book.  But I might just be sappy.

    Alright, so what does the plan actually do?  

    You can check out the entire proposal, including line-by-line, department-by-department savings and reforms by clicking the plan below.

    Big picture, the plan, among many, many other things looks to:

  • Protect jobs by preventing the next Democrat tax increase;
  • Freeze the number of state employees and the pending state employee pay raise;
  • Cap welfare benefits after four years;
  • Stimulate the economy through statewide road and bridge investments; and
  • Reinvest $50 million in small business jobs.

    Reading those bullets, though, one doesn't get a sense for just how big a package of genuine cuts and reforms (with real savings) we're talking about here.  Just a few of the other reforms and line-items found in the House GOP proposal:

  • Establish an absolute freeze to the number of full time state employees
  • Establish a hard-line travel ban
  • Eliminate prevailing wage on school construction projects
  • Prohibit rules that are more stringent than federal requirements unless specifically authorized by law (Cutting back on little bureaucratic potentates across state government)
  • Streamline school elections to two times per year
  • Require all state spending for state agencies to be publicly available on a searchable website
  • Reduce funding for top-tier administrator positions
  • Restore phone user fees for prisoners (that alone could save $5 million a year)

    That's really only scratching the surface.  This is one of the more comprehensive plans I've seen since this budget crisis really got cooking several years ago.

    Please, read on...

  • (26 comments, 769 words in story) Full Story

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Convene a Round-the-Clock Emergency Session TODAY!

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 07:49:48 AM EST
    Tags: Granholm, Cherry, 2010, budget, deficit, Senate, House, Proos, Moss, Elsenheimer, Bishop, Dillon, tax hike (all tags)

    $1.3 BILLION.

    Twenty-four hours ago we were reading startling and scary news about Michigan's state budget deficit.  $785 million, the experts told us, with a fresh $5 million added to the pool of red ink every morning and half of the fiscal year behind us.  

    Those were the days.

    By mid-afternoon the word had leaked in Lansing that things were much (much... MUCH) worse than anticipated.  $1.3 billion in red ink.  That's a rough six hours.

    Listen, we have a good time here on RightMichigan.  Our tongue is often firmly planted in cheek, we razz, we encourage, we joke, we enjoy a good bit of sarcasm and cynicism.  This is not one of those times.  

    $1.3 billion in red ink with a balanced budget requirement in the Constitution and only half the fiscal year remaining to make the cuts.  

    Dear Lansing- the fun and games are over.

    We could look back over the last few years and analyze how we got here and there's a time and a place for that, too, but this is not it.  It is time to look forward.

    The Granholm-Cherry administration was expected early next week to make $200 million in budget cuts via an executive order while asking the legislature to plaster over the rest of the deficit with one-time cash via federal stimulus funds.  Not only would that move be insufficient in light of the drastically larger deficit, it would be just plain irresponsible.  Period.

    The legislature should convene an emergency session TODAY to start making deep, drastic and yes, painful spending cuts.  If the Governor won't call an emergency session and the House won't play along then the Senate should be the adults in the Capitol City and do it themselves.

    Lieutenant Governor John Cherry and Senator Hansen Clarke should cancel their mid-day open bar lobbyist meet-and-greet fundraiser, too.  We literally cannot afford one more day of inaction and status quo.

    $1.3 billion in cuts from six months worth of a budget will not be easy and it is going to hurt like the dickens.  $1.3 billion in cuts from five months worth of a budget will hurt that much worse.  $1.3 billion from three months worth of a budget... you get the idea.

    The time is now and urgency is required.  The House GOP, for their part, is ready to rock and roll.  Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer yesterday sent to budget negotiators a substantial list of proposed spending cuts while they continue to hunt and work for more.  

    Representative Chuck Moss, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee said: "At the rate we're going, we may actually beat one of the auto companies into bankruptcy. We need drastic, immediate steps to put our state back in order. We tried the game of tax increases, look where that got us. It chased away business, foreclosed more homes, unemployment hit 12.6 percent. And we still didn't get the promised reforms. The day of reckoning is now. "

    "Clearly the governor and Democrat's plan from 2007 has failed," said state Representative John Proos, R-St. Joseph. "We were promised that the largest tax increase in state history would solve the problem, but now we're left with a larger deficit and a much larger unemployment rate. History is repeating itself because nothing changed -- no reforms, no change in spending habits, and no change in budget deficits. We learned in 2007 that tax increases are not the answer. With the state of the economy and the national economy, we simply must spend less money."

    Unfortunately, the House Minority seem to be about the only ones in Lansing taking this seriously, and that isn't just a knock on the Democratic Majority.  We could stand to see a little more leadership out of the Senate GOP, too.

    Dear House Democrats- we tried your tax hike idea in 2007 and it has done nothing but made the problem (exponentially) worse.  Spending cuts will hurt.  Bad.  A real pain in the neck.  The alternative will hurt a lot more.  

    Dear Senate Republicans- start acting like Republicans.  If the Left won't do the job (and every indication is that they won't) then it is up to you to save this state on your own even if that makes you "the bad guy."  Consider it the cost of character.

    $1.3 billion in red ink.  And the legislature isn't in an emergency 24 hour marathon session to cut spending because...?

    The sunshine and rainbows have gone away, ladies and gentlemen.  Time to get to work.

    (8 comments) Comments >>

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