Aug 21, 2007

House Democrats will move budget bills Wednesday

Wednesday will be a busy day in the Michigan House on Wednesday, and the full House will act on some budget bills already passed by the Appropriations Sub-Committee for that part of the budget.

It’s expected the following bills already approved by the sub-committee will be taken up by the full Appropriations Committee beginning at 10 a.m. It’s also expected those bills will be approved by the full House later in the day. Those bills are: House Bill 4346, Department of Education budget, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Gillard, D-Alpena; HB 4350, higher education budget, sponsored by Rep. Pam Byrnes, D-Chelsea; HB 4351 higher education budget, Byrnes; HB 4359, school aid, Gillard; and HB 4360, community colleges budget, sponsored by Rep. Michael Sak, D-Grand Rapids.

This is in sharp contrast to the do-nothing, obstructionist Senate who have done absolutely nothing with any budget bills. As previously noted, this Senate is perhaps the most laziest, do-nothing Senate in Michigan history, or at least in recent memory. This is fewest total roll call votes held so far in a decade.

Speaker of the House Andy Dillon said the House has already sent more than half of the state budget over to the Senate, and the rest will come Wednesday. If the Senate fails to move their budget bill, Dillon said the House will move them the following week. The House is also prepared to send over the revenue bills if an agreement cannot be reached with the Senate. The Senate will own any government shutdown. That will fit right in the Senate’s mode of operation, and it makes you wonder if a shutdown has been their plan all along.

But there is hope it can get done before the Oct. 1 deadline. According to Michigan Radio, Dillon says he thinks he and Senate Majority “leader” will come up with an agreement both of their caucuses can support.

The Senate is where bills go to die for lack of action and attention, and that was even true in the last Legislative session when the Republicans controlled both the House and Senate instead of just the Senate this time around.

The House session is broadcast live, as well as most committee meetings, so tune in for some stimulating action.

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