Well, the good news is that the legislature actually finished the budget, and the state didn’t go through another temporary shutdown. True, they originally planned to get this done three months ago.
But these folks operate on Lansing time. There was one genuinely funny moment last night, though our lawmakers didn’t get the joke. At the very end, Majority Floor Leader Kathy Angerer proclaimed, “We have completed the budget long before the deadline.” And her fellow lawmakers actually applauded.
“Long before the deadline,” meant a little more than twenty-four hours before the state would actually have closed up shop.
But hey. What she didn’t say was what everyone under the Capitol Dome knew. Which was that they managed to get this budget done only because Uncle Sugar, aka Washington, poured well over a billion dollars in onetime federal aid into Lansing, $660 million in the last month alone. This helped our term-limited lawmakers to get out of town unscathed, in many cases forever.
To be sure, there are good things about the budget they just passed, at least in the short term. They restored a bunch of money to the schools that was cut last year -- at least $154 dollars per student; more in some lower-spending districts.
Poor children who receive Medicaid will get back vision and dental services. Colleges and universities did take a cut, but less than they’d feared when this all started. Corrections took a cut too, and will have to close a prison even though the lawmakers told them not to close a prison. The good news is that they can handle that.
The bad news, however, is that the lawmakers mostly avoided doing the job they should have done, and left instead a ticking time bomb for the next governor and legislature. They needed to make major reforms in the way the state gets and spends money.
But they didn’t do that. They didn’t have the guts or the political will. Now, that wasn’t completely true. The lawmakers did reform the public school employee retirement system in a sensible way, though the teachers’ unions will fight this in the courts.
The lawmakers made a stab at doing the same for state employees, requiring them to pay three percent of their wages into a health care trust. But they only found the votes to pass this as a three-year temporary measure. Making it permanent or even fighting to extend it will be the next governor and legislature’s problem.
And make no mistake about it; the next governor and legislators will have big problems. Whatever happens in the elections, we can expect no more federal stimulus money from Washington. That means that when they start the budget process next year, they’ll be looking at a deficit of at least $1.6 billion dollars.
They won’t be able to tackle that with accounting tricks. They’ll have to make cuts so huge it will change the nature of government in Michigan, increase taxes in some way --or both.
There simply will be no other choice.
But at the last minute, the current legislature did do a little something that may come in handy next year. They voted to legalize the sale of alcohol on Sunday mornings.
I wonder if they were trying to tell us that we’re going to need it.
As Michigan lawmakers struggled to balance the budget and make cuts in social services, new statistics on child poverty were released yesterday. Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry thinks they are terrifying.
If you pick up any newspaper today, you undoubtedly will be able to find out whether Lindsay Lohan is in or out of jail.
You can learn that the Detroit Tigers can’t make the playoffs, that the Lions are still horrible, and that the Pistons are expected to be bad. But you‘ll have a harder time finding this far more significant and devastating piece of news: The number of children in poverty in Michigan skyrocketed last year, from 19 percent to 22 percent.
That rate was higher still for very young children and for children in single parent homes. In fact, a majority of Michigan single mothers themselves slipped below the federal poverty level.
What is so terrible about this is that, unlike in the movies, poverty is rarely a temporary thing. According to the Michigan League for Human Services, “Kids who are born in poverty tend to stay in poverty. New research shows that one-half of children born in poverty will spend at least half their childhood,” deeply poor.
Jane Zehnder-Merrill, a senior associate at the non-profit organization, added: “This does not bode well for the coming years.”
No kidding. It’s well known that what happens to children in the first five years is vitally important to their success in school and later in life. Last year there were 160,000 babies in Michigan under that age of five, living in deep poverty. That’s scary and a scandal.
The reasons for this are not hard to find. Michigan hasn’t been in a recession, like the rest of the nation. It has been in a one-state depression. Those aren’t my words; they are the words of Dana Johnson, the chief economist for Comerica Bank, which used to be here before it moved its headquarters to Texas.
Yesterday the U.S. Census Bureau provided ample confirmation of that. They released data from a survey conducted last year. The figures were devastating. Michigan median household income fell by more than twenty-one percent over the last decade. Nearly a third of that came in the year ending in 2009.
That was three times as bad as the national average, and far worse than any other state. In Metropolitan Detroit, the situation was even worse. Household income fell by a third in the city itself. Things weren‘t much better in the suburbs, especially manufacturing-heavy Macomb County. What happened, demographer Kurt Metzger told me, is that the bubble has burst.
For years, Michigan was the place for high-paying low-skilled or unskilled labor, thanks to the auto industry. That’s over now.
If we have any hope for a better future, it is in our children, and a better-educated workforce. That’s why these child poverty statistics are so frightening. And that’s why it is hard to understand when our lawmakers cut aid to education, and aid to poor children.
They‘d rather do that, it seems, than ask those of us who are relatively affluent to pay more. Right now, the budget is stalled because the Republicans in the senate don’t want to fund workers who provide child care to low-income families receiving state aid. Sharon Parks, who heads the Michigan League for Human Services, noted yesterday that “the situation will only get worse without a strong effort to meet the needs of struggling families.”
Evidently that’s an effort we’re just not willing to make.
It looks like the Michigan budget may be complete before Thursday night’s deadline, meaning another shutdown will be avoided. But Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry says the real problems are still ahead.
Do you remember those kids in school who always put off doing everything --- projects, big term papers -- till the last minute?
Then, they would pull an all-nighter and get something done that they could turn in. It sometimes got a passing grade. But even when the kid was really, really bright, what they turned in was never as good as it should have been.
I remember kids like that because I used to be one, until at some point, I made the painful decision to be a grownup.
That’s a decision that the members of our Michigan legislature mostly have managed to avoid. There hasn’t been a lot of noticeably adult behavior there. That’s especially true when it comes to the state budget. Remember, their goal was to get it all done before July 1, when most cities and school systems start their fiscal year.
That would have made sense for a lot of reasons. Schools, for example, would have known how much money they could count on.
The lawmakers also would have been serving the people they care about most -- themselves. All their seats are up for election five weeks from now. Most of them are running for something.
The last thing they wanted was to be under the Capitol dome right now, trying at the last minute to balance the budget before the state is forced into another temporary shutdown.
But that’s where they are, fifty-nine hours before the clock runs out, trying to cobble together the last few departmental budgets. The good news is that it is almost certain that they will do it.
We’ll avoid yet another nationally embarrassing moment. But they should be embarrassed that it has taken them this long.
They might be able to justify it if they had done some bold, structural revision that fixed what is deeply wrong with the process. Right now, they way they do things is guaranteed to produce a deficit every year. Imagine you were doing your household budget and decided, “You know, I’ll bet this will be the year that Bill Gates gives us a hundred thousand, out of the blue.” My guess is that by the end of the year, you too would be running a sizable deficit.
The budget that the legislature is about to pass isn’t really balanced in the classic sense. It relies, for one thing, on faith.
The lawmakers passed a bill speeding up the time in which unclaimed property reverts to the state, and also is counting on revenue from a tax amnesty plan. Economists say the politicians are counting on much more from this than they’ll really receive.
Plus, they only really managed to get close to a balanced budget by using hundreds of millions Washington unexpectedly gave us. This was money supposed to be used for education and Medicaid, but our lawmakers used sleight-of-hand to throw it into the deficit hole. Most of them don’t have to worry; thanks to term limits, they will be gone next year. That’s when the budget deficit is projected to be $1.6 billion, with no more federal money in sight.
Which makes me think that there may well be two big losers in the coming gubernatorial election. One will get fewer votes. The other will go to Lansing and have to deal with this mess.
A week ago, I would have said that you had to give the major party candidates for attorney general of Michigan credit for one thing.
They at least had speedily agreed to a publicly televised debate, which was broadcast statewide this weekend.
That stood in stark contrast to the race for governor, where it looked for awhile like we weren’t going to have any debates at all. Eventually, after massive press coverage, GOP nominee Rick Snyder agreed to a single debate with his underdog rival, Virg Bernero.
Meanwhile, Ruth Johnson, the GOP candidate for secretary of state, is refusing to debate her Democratic rival, Jocelyn Benson, probably because she is ahead in the polls and doesn’t want to take a chance. Having seen both of them speak, I understand Johnson’s reluctance: Benson is an attractive, articulate, and extremely compelling candidate. But while ducking a debate may be good strategy on Johnson‘s part, it is not good citizenship.
Most of us don’t know anything about either of them, much less what they would do with the job. The secretary of state’s office is the one branch of state government we all have to deal with, unless we never plan on voting or driving or owning an automobile.
The attorney general’s office is almost as important. Essentially, the AG is the state’s lawyer and chief law enforcement officer. Michigan had an attorney general, in fact, before it became a state.
The responsibilities and duties include offering his or her opinion on matters of law and providing legal counsel for the legislature and for each officer, department, board and commission of state government. The AG can intervene in any lawsuit of any type when he or she believes the interest of the people require it.
Additionally, the attorney general presides over five major bureaus, including Child and Family Services and Consumer and Environmental Protection, and supervises more than two hundred assistant attorneys general.
I just told you all that because if you watched or listened to the so-called debate the other night, you would have no sense at all of what the attorney general really does.
Instead, you saw the political equivalent of a cat fight in an alley. Both David Leyton, the Democratic nominee, and Bill Schuette, the Republican, essentially behaved badly. They mostly ignored moderator Tim Skubick’s questions, and instead spent the entire time attacking each other as soft on crime.
Never mind that very little of the job has to do with prosecuting criminal cases. They talked over each other, interrupted constantly and behaved like two extremely rude five year olds.
They repeated the same talking points over and over, regardless of relevance, until a viewer could legitimately have wondered if either of them were mentally up to the job.
What was most dismaying was not that they bashed each other, but that neither even attempted to explain how they would use the office for the benefit of the state and its citizens.
I came away from the debate with two strong impressions. First of all, I don’t know why anyone would want to vote for either of these candidates. And second, we need a much more substantive performance when the candidates for governor meet for their only debate Oct. 10.
Michigan, and the journalists asking the questions that evening, should demand no less.
Tea party supporters and other activists say that government has become remote, elitist, and out of touch with the people. Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry thinks they are overlooking an obvious solution.
Here’s something I don’t understand about Tea Party supporters, and everyone else who says the system is broken, run by out-of-touch elitists, and doesn’t respond to the people.
There is a powerful solution available to voters in Michigan this fall that could, if adopted, radically change how the system works.
Yet virtually nobody is talking much about it. Oh, all the powers that be and entrenched special interests are petrified with worry that the people might figure out what they can do.
What I am talking about is rewriting the state constitution. This could have far more dramatic consequences that electing an odd congressman here or a handful of state legislators there.
And getting it done would be far easier -- at least the first and most important step -- than doing almost anything else. You may not know it, but it is already on the November ballot.
Every one of us will be asked when we vote if we want to call a convention for the purpose of writing a new constitution. If a majority of us vote yes, then here’s what will happen.
We’ll go back to the polls to elect 148 delegates to the convention. Each of us gets to vote for two of those -- one from our district in the state house of representatives. One from our district in the state senate. There would be a primary in February and a final election in June. Then, in October, the convention would meet.
They could then draw up any kind of constitution they wanted to, as long as it doesn’t violate the Constitution of the United States. They could change term limits; they could abolish term limits.
They could make a graduated income tax legal or outlaw income taxes entirely. They could give us a one-house legislature or a part-time legislature or something completely different.
Everyday citizens could run for convention delegate and help shape the new document. When they get it done, however long it takes, the proposed new constitution would be submitted to a statewide vote of the people. If we vote yes, it takes effect.
If we vote no, we stay with the one we have now.
To me, a constitutional convention sounds like a pretty worthwhile gamble, especially since the current system is no longer working on a number of levels.
But with the exception of Governor Jennifer Granholm, most of the state’s business and political leaders are firmly against it.
Yesterday, I asked Craig Ruff about this. He is a longtime public policy expert who has worked for several governors. It is simple, he said. “They just don’t trust the people.”
John Axe, a lawyer who strongly supports a con-con, thinks various special interests fear losing their special privileges.
That’s the kind of thing the Tea Party has been railing against. You’d think this would be a natural cause for them.
But they’ve largely overlooked it. Odds are that the proposal will be voted down. There’s little organized effort in favor of a con-con, and no money to buy commercials and educate voters.
Nevertheless, Ruff thinks there is a long shot chance that unhappy voters could get in the booth, see the proposal, and say, “hell yes. Let’s start over and try to do it right this time.”
Things are certain to get very interesting if they do.
State Senator Nancy Cassis of Novi has long been an severe critic of the Michigan film tax credit. She feels strongly that the state shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers.
That businesses should succeed or fail on their own merits. Historically, there’s a lot to be said in support of that idea. What if, say, in 1900 the government had provided tax subsidies to those who made buggies, and not these hooligan newfangled automobile manufacturers. That might have badly hurt our economy.
Last Friday we got some new evidence that supported those who think the film credit is a glitzy negative. A new report from the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency said that the film credit has been a drain on the Michigan budget. They estimated that the film credit will cost our cash-starved state $111 million dollars in the year starting next month. Earlier, there was some awareness it was losing money, but supporters thought this was just growing pains.
However, the fiscal agency report couldn’t envision any situation in which this could turn around, and these tax credits add to state revenues. That would appear to be a death sentence.
Our state is poorer than ever. Right now, lawmakers are struggling to close a projected budget deficit for next year. Deep-sixing the film tax credit would appear to be the right thing to do.
As you may know, I’ve been talking for years about how the state needs to learn to live within its means.
And yet on this, I disagree. This may sound like a contradiction, but I think we need to keep the film tax credit in place.
That’s because in the words of the old women’s rights song, we need bread, but we need roses too. We need something exciting in our everyday lives, and what could be better than running into a movie star, or seeing them filming in your neighborhood?
Economically, the situation also isn’t as bad as all that. First of all, the amount of the loss is disputed by other studies. And even the Senate Fiscal Agency agrees the film industry has meant a net gain of $78 million for the private sector. Mark Adler, the director of the Michigan Production Alliance, told a Senate finance committee hearing that it takes time to build all the supporting infrastructure necessary for the movie business.
When this happens, the losses will be lesser, or even vanish. I do know this. There is something immensely valuable, even if intangible, in running into Clint Eastwood or Jack Nicholson on the street. There’s something wonderful about recognizing Detroit neighborhoods in a wonderful movie like Gran Torino.
Over time, I think this may even be financially valuable in a way we can’t measure, if it helps change the image of Detroit. Right now, much of the nation sees Detroit the way Mayor Dave Bing actually described it the other day -- as a hellhole.
Now, true, this could be a mixed blessing. The one show which consistently opens with a magnificent view of the Detroit skyline is an HBO series called Hung.
It concerns the adventures of a suburban coach who supports himself by having sex for money. The show opens with him walking down various Detroit-area streets and stripping off his clothes.
I suppose there’s a metaphor there somewhere.
The state budget still isn’t balanced, the legislature is stuck in gridlock, but most of our leaders are firmly against a constitutional convention. Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry thinks we should take another look.
Last spring the one thing everyone agreed on was that there would be no playing chicken with the state budget this year. None of this going up to the last minute before another government shutdown.
No siree, they were going to get the budget all done by June 30. Well, we are a little more than eight days from another shutdown, and guess what. The budget isn‘t done!
Oh, they are finally passing pieces of it, but a giant iceberg is in the path of the S.S. Michigan. They have to decide what to do about a proposed early retirement plan for state employees, similar to the one imposed on teachers last spring.
The governor and, lame-duck Speaker Andy Dillon support the bill, but many Democrats don’t, because unions don’t. This was a key factor in why Dillon lost the Democratic primary for governor. Labor unions don’t like it because their members in state government would have to pay three percent of their salaries for health insurance.
It doesn’t matter to them that the money just isn’t there. It doesn’t matter to the unions than hundreds of thousands of their brothers in the private sector have no jobs or health insurance at all.
It doesn’t matter to the unions that if they don’t make these concession, the governor will be forced to cut millions in revenue sharing to Michigan communities. That will mean layoffs of municipal workers and fewer services for people.
No, the unions want what they want. So we’re heading for another impasse. State government is broken, and doesn’t look like being fixed soon. I thought of this yesterday, during a debate at Michigan State about whether to hold a constitutional convention.
Voters are going to be asked that in November, by the way. Should we call a convention and have them try and write a new constitution? If we vote yes, then the convention will go to work, and when they are done, we’ll have another choice.
We’ll vote to decide if we want to adopt the new constitution, or keep the old one. You should know, by the way, that almost all the establishment forces who have helped get us in the mess we are in are firmly against a convention.
A spokesman for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce said he was afraid that the special interests would dominate the process of electing delegates. That struck me as funny, since the special interest he represents tries hard to dominate elections.
Dianne Byrum, a former leader of the Democrats in the House, said the convention would paralyze economic development, because businesses seeking to invest wouldn’t know what to expect.
She didn’t mention that they don’t know now what to expect either. Three years ago, the dysfunctional legislature slapped a 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business tax at the last minute.
Craig Ruff, a longtime policy maker who is now with Public Sector consultants, thinks we ought to take a chance.
Trust the voters and trust ourselves to do the right thing. He said the opponents of a constitutional convention’s slogan should be “The only thing we have to fear is change itself.”
What I know is that the status quo isn‘t working. The ice is getting thinner by the day.
Seems to me it might be a good time to learn to swim.
I have an opinion about abortion which I need to share, and this is it. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, it is silly and stupid to keep talking about it in connection with the governor’s race.
Yes, it is an important issue to many people.
But here’s the bottom line. The governor of Michigan does not make abortion policy. He or she can’t. The next governor really can’t do anything about abortion, even if he wants to.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind. Thirty-seven years ago, the U.S.
Supreme Court stunned the nation by declaring that the Constitutional right
to privacy protects a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. That’s a
right they said is essentially unlimited in the first trimester.
Some people think that decision, usually known as Roe vs. Wade, was the most terrible decision in the history of the country. Others think it was one of the most enlightened and liberating things any branch of government has ever done. But regardless of how you feel, it has nothing to do with the governor’s race.
Here’s why. The only way Roe vs. Wade can be changed is by another Supreme Court decision, or by a Constitutional Amendment ratified by three-quarters of the states.
If someone wants to devote themselves to either of those possibilities, they have every right to do so. But such an endeavor would literally take years, and have no sure chance of success.
The governor of Michigan has no time for that. Being governor is a difficult job in good times, and these are anything but. The state’s economy has been badly damaged by the dramatic decline and near-collapse of the domestic auto industry, which, in any event, will never again employ the vast numbers of workers it once did.
Our system of government is badly broken. State government no longer has the revenue is needs for its basic obligations. Term limits have meant that the legislature lacks institutional memory and anyone with long-term experience.
That has helped fuel partisan bitterness so extreme Republicans and Democrats barely talk to each other, let alone collaborate for the good of the state. As a result, Lansing is essentially paralyzed, unable to properly fund the obligations it has, or even make a move to try and get out of this mess.
The new governor has to lead the way in changing all that. The state needs to figure out what its real priorities are, and find a way to get the money needed to finance them -- the courts, the schools, and whatever else is essential for state government to do.
Michigan badly needs new business and industry to come and bring jobs here. Any governor needs to be focused on enacting the right policies to help make these things happen.
But instead, Democratic nominee Virg Bernero spent yesterday saying that Republican nominee Rick Snyder was extreme in his anti-abortion views. A Snyder spokesman shot back that it was Bernero’s views in favor of abortion rights that were extreme, and so on.
Both sides need to stop this. Most voters don’t know much about either man. We don’t know how they would try to fix state government or our economy.
That’s what is relevant to being governor. That’s what they need to be talking about. And we need to pressure them to do it.
Pontiac was an industrial town, but also a pretty, leafy small city a few decades ago, with stately homes, some of which are still magnificent, on streets close to the once-tidy little downtown.
The city had fierce high school rivalries, a good newspaper and, while it wasn’t really a Detroit suburb, was close enough that you could commute to the city.
Pontiac had reliable commuter rail service, was close to freeways, and was where both Woodward Avenue and Telegraph roads began. That was then, however. Now, times are hard.
Commuter rail service ended almost thirty years ago. The General Motors factories that were the main source of the economy downsized and closed. The Detroit Lions, who had played there since the 1970s, took football back to Detroit eight years ago, leaving an empty stadium and less tax revenue.
The city finally got to a point where its leaders were unable or unwilling to make the hard decisions. Nineteen months ago today, the state appointed an Emergency Financial Manager to run Pontiac.
Nobody has any idea when, or if, Pontiac will be able to run as a normal city again. What Pontiac desperately needs is money. Tax revenue. Working, middle class families to move into town.
But attracting them is hard, and is about to get a lot harder. The state keeps slashing revenue sharing money it sends to Michigan’s cities. Five years ago, Pontiac’s sixty-six thousand people were protected by 175 police officers.
Then the layoffs began. After the next round of cuts in November, Pontiac will be down to sixty-one police officers. A third of what it had. Less than one cop per thousand residents.
People are not going to voluntarily move somewhere they don’t feel safe. Pontiac is worse off than some places. But across Michigan, people are about to feel what it means to have fewer services. For years, the state has had to scrape together a balanced budget at the last moment. Most of the time, they’ve balanced the books partly by cutting the money local governments had been told they could count on. We are all going to begin feeling the results.
Some of the effects will be invisible at first, but may be deadly in the long run. Cities are canceling or delaying things like restaurant inspections and safety inspections for vehicles.
Forget well-maintained parks and recreation facilities. Some cities are losing library services. Some of these cutbacks are unavoidable. Some may even make sense.
But the fact is that we ought to be willing to pay more for others. We should be willing to tax ourselves to maintain our quality of life. Our state lawmakers don’t see it that way, however.
They refuse to raise any new revenue, either for ideological reasons or because they fear voter reaction.
Well, guess what. The job of a leader is to lead, even when the right path isn’t popular. Taxes are the price we pay for civilization. Most of us are rather partial to civilization, clean water, and want a fireman to come when we need one. If that takes more taxes, we who are still working ought to be willing to pay them. We all need to grow up, and realize that there really ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop has reversed himself and now says there probably won’t be a vote on a new Detroit River bridge this year. Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry says that is bad news for business.
There are issues that are extremely complex, with sound arguments on both sides. But the question of building a new bridge over the Detroit River really isn’t one. Every year, billions in trade between Michigan and Ontario is dependent on the eighty-one year old Ambassador Bridge, which is owned by one man, Matty Moroun, a reclusive, eighty-three year old billionaire.
The bridge is wearing out. A U.S. safety inspection report released almost a year ago found the main span in “poor condition,” with cracked, unsound concrete that has chipped away to expose, as the Windsor Star reported, “significantly corroded reinforcing steel.”
When that became public, the Ambassador Bridge company announced that a multi-million dollar repair project would begin in July. But there are conflicting reports as to whether work has started. The bridge company really wants to build a new bridge next to the old one. But the government of Canada has flatly said no, and the United States is also refusing to issue the necessary permits.
There are serious environmental and traffic flow reasons why twinning the Ambassador Bridge would be a terrible idea. Everyone is firmly against it.
Everyone, that is, except the Moroun family, and those to whom they give money. There is an alternative that is favored by everyone from the Government of Canada to Governor Jennifer Granholm, from Oakland County’s L. Brooks Patterson to Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. It is a proposed new internationally owned and operated bridge two miles downriver from the Ambassador.
This project would be known as DRIC, for Detroit International River Crossing. Private investors could invest in DRIC, but it would be run by and for both countries. During the years of construction, it would employ up to ten thousand workers.
Canada wants and needs this bridge so badly that their government has offered to pay for Michigan’s share of the expenses -- which we would pay back later, out of toll money.
The project won house approval earlier this year, and should have met with unanimous approval in the state senate -- but it has been stalled. The Moroun family has deep pockets.
They’ve given lavishly to politicians, and they expect something in return. Yesterday, lame-duck Majority Leader Mike Bishop said he thought it was unlikely that the Senate would vote on DRIC anytime this year. That breaks a promise he made.
Bishop, who opposes DRIC, promised an up-or-down vote on the bridge in May. Now, he says he’s going back on his word because the Department of Transportation took too long to get senators the information they needed.
Without openly calling the senator a liar, most independent observers said that just wasn’t true. Business interests other than the Morouns are unhappy. Sarah Hubbard of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce thinks there’s a strong possibility the legislation would be acceptable to the senate by the end of the year. Both sides, in fact, have been negotiating in good faith.
If DRIC isn’t built, Detroit will lose even more jobs and business, something I thought the Republican Party was against. There is still hope. Bishop tried to block the smoking ban, too, but his own caucus overruled him. For Michigan’s sake, this would be an ideal time for them to do so again.