A couple of weeks ago the Detroit News reported that the State House Republican leaders in Lansing were pressuring Governor Jennifer Granholm to slash state spending another half-billion dollars because revenue is falling short by $25 million a week.
The Republicans suggested that Granholm could accomplish the spending cuts by reducing all governmental departments wages by 5 percent across-the-board; a 5 percent wage cut for Michigan's 52,000 state workers and a 5 percent increase in the amount state workers must contribute for health care coverage.
They also called for 5 percent cuts in lawmakers' office budgets, pay for non-teaching workers at the 15 public universities and pay for legislative employees. It wasn’t mentioned if the state lawmakers, the second highest paid in the nation, would accept a wage cut as well.
This should be interesting to watch. The Los Angeles Times has reported that the Obama administration is threatening to rescind billions of dollars in federal stimulus money to California if its Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers do not restore wage cuts to unionized home healthcare workers approved in February as part of the budget. California, much like Michigan only worse off financially, has a tremendous budget deficit currently with no seeming resolution in sight.
Like California, many of Michigan’s state workers fall in the category as union members. Will Obama’s Administration threaten fellow Democrat Governor Jennifer Granhom with rescinding the billions of “stimulus” dollars promised to Michigan now? Or, because she is a Democrat, will they simply look the other way if Michigan’s state workers are forced to accept a cut?
I’m semi-curious as to how many of our state workers might have voted for both Obama and Granholm and are wondering why today. Like I said, this should be interesting to watch.