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How would you grade Michigan Legislature for handling state budget problems?

In the heart of mid-Michigan, it's hard to not wonder on a nice spring Monday morning what news awaits a state that's gasping for economic life.

While the week will probably bring a full menu of news stories about how the state's economy is suffering, the Michigan Legislature has known for months that the state faced almost a billion dollar shortfall for this fiscal year that ends on the last day of September.

From my vantage point, I've seen little action from either side of the aisle at the State Capitol in downtown Lansing.  Our state lawmakers are among the best paid in the country.  They have nice offices, all the latest conveniences and they have plenty of staff.

My state legislators,  Rep. Barb Byrum and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, have not communicated anything that I can see about the problem. 

Isn't part of the job of being an elected official to educate their constituents about issues of the moment?  And then aren't they supposed to listen to constituents to gain their views?

From Rep. Byrum, I have gotten several pieces of taxpayer funded mail about being a senior citizen.  It's really patronizing stuff that I pay for.

I would bet that each mail piece costs at least 50 cents to send.  She could lower my taxes by a couple bucks a year that she  spends for the mail.

Both Byrum and Whitmer have been conspicuous by their absence among the people who elected them.  I'm sure they appear at some community events, ribbon-cuttings and that sort of thing.

But, both need to take some leadership and they need to keep their voters informed as Michigan's future is being decided.

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