by Doug Paterson, MPA, Director of State Policy, Michigan Primary Care Association
Senator Mike Prusi, Michigan Senate Minority Leader, said it best of the deal reached this week between Speaker Andy Dillon and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop to resolve the 2010 state budget by cutting $1.2 billion dollars and ignoring any revenue options. “If we continue down the road that you intend to lead us, I see a future where I would encourage my grandchildren to leave this state because we would not have a Michigan worth living in.”
Among the responsibilities that the Michigan constitution places upon legislators is generating enough revenues to protect the residents of this state. The programmatic cuts and eliminations that will be necessary in order to trim $1.2 billion dollars from the Governor’s revised budget will, in fact, hurt many in our state. People will go without health and dental care; police and fire protection will be reduced; more and more children will be abused and neglected; classroom sizes will increase; the high quality of our state universities will be compromised.
The real question becomes, “Do the residents of our state really want our future compromised because current leaders are afraid to do what they need to because it might affect their re-election?” What we need in Michigan are leaders who have a vision for what Michigan should be; leaders who are willing to use government as it is intended—to be the instrument through which our citizenry collectively assures that the “common good” is attended to.
Legislators are hearing from constituents who don’t understand what their taxes support and don’t understand what the impact of cuts will mean for our state’s future. Legislators need to hear from those of us who DO want a prosperous and successful future for our state, and who DO understand that the state has a “structural revenue deficit” where taxes simply don’t support the programs and services that government should be providing.
Please make sure your voice is heard! Click here to connect with your state legislators.