Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Summary of Tuesday's Lansing Happenings (11/10/09)

From Wednesday morning's Detroit News -

Lansing politicians remain in a stand off -

Granholm said she'd back extending a sales tax on services, if districts initiate a ballot proposal. Education leaders said later they're trying to draw up school funding reforms, but haven't focused on a service tax.

"There are 551 school districts. If we get 1,000 signatures per district, we're on the ballot," said Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, sponsor of a bill to reduce the sales tax from 6 cents to 5 cents on the dollar and extending the levy to most services.

• Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, who captured the support of House Democrats for a $165-per-student cut to balance the budget with no new taxes, called on Granholm to rescind cuts she has ordered -- including an additional $127-per-student reduction to start in December. He also called on the House to approve a package of Senate-approved bills that would raise $100 million for schools by freezing the earned income tax credit, scaling back film credits and holding a tax amnesty.

• House Democrats, meanwhile, said they're waiting for the Senate to approve a House bill that would freeze the personal income tax exemption. Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, is in China trying to bring business home to the state to invigorate the economy.

"The leadership is playing a blame game," said Bill Rustem, president of the Lansing policy think tank Public Sector Consultants.