Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Letter from a House Member

The letter below is from an email I just received from an unnamed legislator. Obviously, too many of them are not serious about making the necessary cuts...

I'm writing to you from the House Floor with a quick update as we face midnight deadline to balance the budget. I am doing everything I can to help the Legislature meet that deadline; this morning the House passed an interim budget as a backup plan to keep the government operating after midnight, just in case. 

The House worked late last night to pass more budgets, and we have now passed 9 of the 15 budgets: Community Colleges; Agriculture; Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth; Department of Environmental Quality/Department of Natural Resources; Department of Human Services; Judiciary; Corrections; Department of Education; and Military and Veterans Affairs.

We have more extremely tough decisions to make. There's no doubt that more deep cuts have to be made to make government leaner and more efficient. However, we have to make these cuts the right way, in the right places.

Today the six remaining budgets will come up for a vote: Higher Education, School Aid (K-12), General Government, the Department of Community Health, Transportation and State Police. Several of these budgets represent priorities that we must invest in to protect our residents and ensure Michigan's economic turnaround. I'm very concerned that cuts in some of these budgets simply go too far and take Michigan in the wrong direction.

  • We have to protect local fire and police protection to keep our families and communities safe. We can't afford to endanger our residents and drive away job providers by taking more first responders off the street.
  • We have to protect Promise Scholarships, which help nearly 100,000 students train for 21st century jobs while creating the educated workforce we need to attract emerging industries. We cannot close the door on affordable access to college for middle-class families.
  • We have to provide the resources our schools need to educate our children so they can be prepared to compete for good-paying jobs in the global economy. We can't rob our students of the teachers and tools they need to succeed in life.
  • And we have to increase access to health care for our kids and seniors. We cannot become a state that turns its back on our most vulnerable residents. We are better than that.

I will keep you updated as often as I can. Please forward this update to anyone you think is interested. 


Pika-Steph said...

We're at the west side of the south House Gallery.

Haven't spoken to anyone personally yet. The letter you received is not inspiring confidence.

Shirley Ujest said...

An anonymous politician, how interesting. Why the inability to own where one stands on these issues?

Everyone seems to be doing fine, except for the people and the businesses some have.

The teachers get paid more then in other states by a large margin. There's so many requirements and mandates, they hardly have time to teach literacy and computation, in spite of the long days spent with students. Where are the school districts budgets reflecting an elimination of programs that have nothing to do with the three r's in this difficult economy? Yet, they continue to pay a higher premium for insurance, so as to remain in each others pocket, and the union is making out the best.

The scholarship issue is sad as well. Where is there a voucher offered? A savings account? Yet, these very things are quickly offered in the health reform debates. This isn't concern for the people, education, or health systems. What it is: Just more of the same.

"And we have to increase access to health care for our kids and seniors." This is just a flat out ignorant statement. I demand and dare this anonymous politician to show where there isn't access for anyone in the state of MI, much less anywhere else in the country.

I'm still looking for the 'people protection' and I'm not seeing it.

These are just a few things I'd address to our anonymous legislature.

I look forward to your updates.

freeculturewarrior said...

A great patriot friend is with a small group of Michiganders at the Capitol steps in Lansing this evening showing support of no new taxes.

There were some indications that their voices are not being allowed to be heard, as a simple sign was constructed stating "no new taxes" and it was taken away from the public protest group.

Looking forward to hearing further updates throughout the evening. Both on the floor, and on the steps!

What can the Michigan public do at this hour to effect decisions yet to be made this evening?

Best phone, or fax numbers?

Thank you Jack, for your thoughtfulness in delivering this information to us.