Stash the sleeping bags. No need to buy that no-doze.
For the second year in a row state lawmakers have adopted the new state budget three months before the October first deadline which means no mad dash to the finish line this fall to avoid a shutdown of state government. Ah shucks.
Covering the two abbreviated government shutdowns under the old Granholm administration was great theater as she and legislative leaders fumbled and bumbled their way to spend all of your tax dollars before the bewitching hour of midnight on September 30.
Gov. Rick Snyder wants none of that which is why he and his GOP leaders put together this budget in plenty of time. So let the carping begin.
The senate Democratic leader found nothing to like in the document which she says is a "2". Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) says this is a "massive disinvestment in education" which does not hold schools harmless.
Sure the R's pumped an additional $120 per pupil into the K-12 budget but math major Ms. Whitmer says based on the $450 per pupil cut the schools took last year, the "increase" is anything but.
Not so fast counters arch-rival the senate GOP leader. Sen. Randy Richardville gives the budget a "9-plus" calling it the "best budget I've seen in 13 years."
He points to beefing up the state's Rainy Day fund from a low of $10 million to its current $400 million. Plus, "We've restructured our revenue stream; we've paid off some long term debt...These are things that Wall Street has looked at and concluded that Michigan is now a much better managed state." Indeed the state got a credit rating bump last week to Triple A.
Get use to this budget back and forth as the D's believe they have a campaign issue to use against the R's in the house elections this fall.
"Republicans balanced the books on the backs of the needy while helping their rich friends," the story line will go from the Democratic side of the ledger.
"We put the state back on a solid financial foundation," the Republicans will counter.
And you, dear readers, will have to decide who is right. Lots of luck with that.