Mar 3, 2007

Cone of Silence may be used to discuss Secret GOP Senate budget plan

The Senate Republican’s Top Secret budget plan may finally see the light of day after weeks of skullduggery and intrigue that reached such ridiculous heights that only Republicans members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have seen the full proposal, and they were a not to write any of it down to keep it as confidential as possible

But according to subscription only Gongwer on Thursday, the four legislative leaders are expected to start discussions next week on reaching an agreement on the 2006-07 budget, including a peek the Top Secret Senate Republican budget cut plan. I wonder if Agents 86, 99 and Austin Powers have heard about this?

The Senate Republicans rejected the Governor’s Executive Order to balance the current budget early last month, and like the Republicans' irresponsible decision last summer to kill the Single Business Tax (SBT) without a replacement, the Senate Republicans also had no plan to replace the EO. They have been scurrying around the last two weeks under the cloak of secrecy to come up with a plan that is supposed to balance the budget with cuts alone.

Even though we are already in the currant fiscal year, Senate Republicans have been telling us for weeks they will soon have a plan to balance the budget with spending cuts alone. But exactly what those cuts will be is a closely guarded state secret. They are keeping those cuts from the public for as long as possible.

The plan itself is still not scheduled to be released even during the discussions, but some Senate Republicans have apparently said it might be next week. Secrets are hard to keep in Lansing with so many politicians, staffers, lobbyists and reporters, but the Senate cuts are as big a secret as the identify of covert CIA agents. No wait, strike that example.

Apparently this discussion will involve Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford Twp.), Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) and House Minority Leader Craig DeRoche (R-Novi). I wonder if CONTROL’s Cone of Silence is available for the discussion.

For weeks the Governor has been assailed in the media for the cuts she proposed, and that’s clearly one reason the GOP is keeping their propped cuts secret and away from public view as long as possible. Now, the cuts that come out of any discussions can also be blamed on Dillon and Schauer and not just Republicans.

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