Is a major part of the problem Michigan's political novices who sit in the seats of power?
After being elected, citizen legislators are whisked from their districts to positions of extreme power. While still trying to figure out on the map where the State Capitol is located, they are making life and death decisions about major chunks of state government. They may learn the lingo of legislative politics and have a veneer of understanding about issues, but their knowledge of the issues seems to be tissue paper thin.
The consequences are major. Michigan continues its slide towards becoming an industrial backwater.
They argue, point fingers and trash talk each other. Nothing's getting done. There doesn't seem to be thought out plan.
As the shutdown of state government because of a lack of funds gets closer, here's the answer from MI House Speaker Andy Dillion from today's Detroit News:
"Let's fix the problem, rather than do what's politically popular," said Dillon, flanked by more than a dozen of his House Democratic colleagues.
Dillon said he is eager to push a plan to shift more of the business tax liability to companies that do business in Michigan, but don't have a plant or a workforce based here.
He said his plan also asks state employees to give up 2 percent of their health care costs, which he said would save the state $200 million to $250 million annually.
Michigan can save another $122 million, Dillon said, if it changes prison parole policies, to free more inmates who have served their minimum sentences, or place them in lower-cost community settings.
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