All of us who have been following the saga of Senate Bill 97 (SB97) are beyond disgusted. It’s one of the most egregious legislative power-grabs in recent memory. According to MichiganVotes.org, the measure if passed would give “state and local government agencies the power to enter into joint operating arrangements for building hospital and transportation businesses” and would allow private operators to “benefit from tax exemptions and its governmental partner’s power to impose property taxes, borrow, take private property using eminent domain and more.” This is as anti-free market as it gets.
The bill predictably sailed through the Senate without much debate and discussion. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, known for his lack of spine and principle, fast tracked it last year. The Senate committeemembers who approved SB97 were all bought off by the hospital and transportation industries that will make a killing off the legislation, and all but four Senators voted to approve it during the full Senate vote. Sens. Colbeck, Hune, Emmons and Shirkey were the only hold-outs.
The House committee that approved SB97 was similarly bought off by the monied interests that will benefit from the bill. This is how the Lansing swamp operates. Right now, the fate of SB97 is in the hands of House GOP leadership. House Speaker Tom Leonard has the reputation of being a staunch conservative. He is running for Attorney General right now off of his conservative bona fides.
To his credit, Leonard is no Arlan Meekhof. He seems far more fair-minded than his predecessors, but who is funding Leonard and the rest of the House GOP leadership?
Politics and corruption are practically synonymous here in Southeastern Michigan.
Recent names (for most readers here, anyways) include such notables like Coleman Young (the first), Kwame Kilpatrick, The (almost) entire Conyers Family, etc.
Excluding VERY rare circumstances, they have been allowed to go pretty much unchecked by state and local officials since there apparently is some “unwritten” rule prohibiting county prosecutors and Attorneys General from investigating fellow politicians, regardless of party affiliation.
No, I don’t get it either.
Fortunately, this hasn’t stopped the Feds though from doing the job that local and state officials have been reticent to do.
The title might be just a tiny exaggeration, but any thinking person might understand what we’re talking about.
2017, the year where the unimaginable played out in the U.S.A. When Republican Donald Trump took the reins back from the ultra left wing Democrat party, the Hillary apologists in the media were humiliated daily, and the desperation of the left to regain it’s power led to the #MeToo ‘movement’ and subsequent self destruction of key left wing politicos and personalities.
The new Donald Trump reality is one that has proven to be fruitful for retirement accounts with unheard of new highs in market confidence and new commitments to American industry and innovation. As regulatory burdens have been lifted, the promise of full employment, and income increases are now appearing to be the next sure thing.
Its the Economy stupid.
Or at least it was 25 years ago, when Bill Clinton’s campaign said so. Now with all the most positive news about the American work and manufacturing sector happening, pollsters would tell us that the president is only enjoying the lowest polling numbers, but of course same said pollsters predicted a Hillary win in November of 2016 as well, so..
Lots of stuff to discuss. Hope you all have the patience and time to digest it all.
Interesting perspective on Proposed Senate Bill 97 in your forward. My analysis is it is typical “fear mongering”. See discussion below.
Enclosed for your convenience is a copy of House Fiscal Legislative Analysis pertaining to Senate Bill 97. Permit me to comment on the Bill and ancillary issues pertaining to Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) and infrastructure investment.
Senate Bill 97
The Bill authorizes the State and its various agencies to participate in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a means to acquire private investment and management participation in state infrastructure projects. The objective of PPP’s is to facilitate private investment in infrastructure upgrades and repairs as a substitute for using taxation and state financed bonds as the sole remedy to pay for infrastructure needs. For example: The legislature raised the state taxes on fuels to pay for highway maintenance, construction and repairs, or alternatively, it could issue bonds secured by the State to be repaid with revenue either from the project (AKA TOLLS or USER FEES,) or increase taxes on the proletariat! Gas taxes or sales taxes.
As the Analysis confirms many states (other than Michigan) have now passed legislation authorizing their respective state agencies to enter into PPP’s as a basis to fund various transportation and other infrastructure needs (water and sewage). In the past I have referenced these projects as an alternative means to fund transportation and infrastructure needs in various letters to the media and others with copies to our relevant representatives.These copies are numbered and itemized below to refresh your memories. Several of the letters contain similar allegations and claims. My apologies for any redundancy. It is apparent the letters were of little interest to the recipients. So be it! It hasn’t been the first time. But, I digress. Mea Culpa!
The race is finally shaping up like we would expect.
The mix is in.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley has gone for the brass ring. An email from the inbox today:
“Dear Jason, Today I formally announce that I am a candidate for Governor of Michigan. I am running for Governor to finish Michigan’s Comeback and make Michigan the most prosperous state in the country.
And not to miss an opportunity to get a little rush from the announcement is political newcomer Jim Hines, who in his own email blast says:
“I welcome Brian Calley to the race for Governor. We now have three term-limited Republican politicians seeking their next job, all pretending to be outsiders.”
Each of those term limited guys could probably write their own check quite well. So I am not sure how the term limited fact will sway anything, but Calley’s engagement in the process does shuffle the political support deck, bringing the not-Schuette candidate class into higher probability realm.