Thursday, January 21, 2010

Senator Mike Bishop to Balance the Budget on Teachers' Backs!

Many of you wrote me yesterday to share what you had read and I, of course, have read it as well........Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop wants to balance the state's budget on the backs of teachers, professors, and state and local government workers.

He wants all these groups to take a 5 percent pay cut this year and remain at that level for the next THREE years. He also wants public employees to pay 20 percent of their health care premiums unless they participate in a health savings account or wellness program. In that case, they would only have to cover 15 percent of their premiums. He says this could eliminate a $1.6 billion budget deficit and save schools and local governments millions of dollars.

THIS MOVE WOULD REQUIRE A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT to go to voters in August. It would require a 2/3rds vote in both the House and the Senate to put it on the ballot. If the 2/3rds vote could not be met at this level, then a ballot drive could be attempted to put it on the ballot, but would probably mean it would appear later in the year if the ballot drive is successful.

THIS WOULD EFFECTIVELY END YOUR BARGAINING RIGHTS! Local units would have NO CONTROL over these measures if passed.

The MEA is advocating that the financial crisis for our state government calls for real reforms--including an end to wasteful tax giveaways and a modernized, fair system for funding Michigan's priorities. A Better Michigan Future's Comeback Plan (the MEA is 1 of 30 groups that advocate this plan) consists of just four reforms that can help end our decade-long budget mess and move Michigan forward.

Audit Government Contracts -- Reduce wasteful spending by conducting performance audits on $16 billion worth of government contracts with an eye toward efficiencies -- ensuring Michigan taxpayers are getting the most value for their dollar.

Close Tax Loopholes & Giveaways -- Eliminate tax incentives and loopholes for companies failing to create and retain jobs, while requiring yearly performance reviews for all remaining tax credits and incentives.

Modernize the State's Sales Tax -- Our current sales tax is based on the old economy; we must expand the sales tax to include services and luxury items to ensure stable revenue into the future.

Implement a Graduated Income Tax -- Michigan is one of only seven states with a flat-rate tax. We must modernize our tax code to ensure fairness and equity, while offering a tax cut to 90 percent of Michigan families.

Please write or call your state legistors, especially SENATE MAJORITY LEADER BISHOP!!!

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop
Phone: 517-373-2417
Fax: 517-373-2694

Governor Jennifer Granholm
517-373-3400 Phone 517-335-6863 Fax
to write Gov. Granholm, please go to the website