Friday, October 30, 2009 313-300-4454

LANSING, MI—Citizens watchdog group Progress Michigan blasted Senate Republicans today in the aftermath of budget signings by the Governor that signaled a failure of state leaders to agree on compromise solutions to Michigan’s revenue crisis.

“What comes next will be a slow motion catastrophe that will play out over the next weeks and months as the fabric of Michigan’s schools and communities seriously frays and for many of the elderly, the poor and the increasing number of people who depend on Medicaid health care it will completely shred,” said David Holtz, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “If there’s a hell there should be a special place reserved there for Senate Republicans who remained obstructionist to the end. There’s blame enough to go around for this utter failure of state leadership, but in the final analysis it was Senate Leader Mike Bishop who refused to budge, rigidly sticking to a failed right-wing ideology that was overwhelmingly rejected by Michigan voters last November.

“Mike Bishop may be a hero to the teabaggers, the Limbaughs and the Glenn Becks of the world. But for the people of Michigan, he will forever be remembered for failing in a time of crisis to put good public policy and the welfare of our citizens over partisan politics and his own political ambitions.”

The Governor today signed $1.87 billion in budget cuts that will severely impact education, human services and local communities. State House Democrats had approved the cuts then passed some proposed revenue increases based on their leadership’s believe that Senate Republicans would take up the measures. That didn’t happen.

“The best we can hope for now is that with upwards of a potential $1 billion deficit facing the state in 2011, that concerned citizens, organizations, civic groups, the governor and Senate Democrats will now be joined by house Democrats to forge a united voice for real reforms that benefit average Michigan families,” said Holtz. “What we can expect from Senate Republicans is to attempt to bully the state into more drastic, damaging service cuts combined with a scheme offered as reform but will be designed to shift more of the tax burden onto the middle class and to carve out favors for big oil and other big industries who already benefit from giant tax loopholes. We can’t let that happen.”


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