After four long years of legislative hearings, public education, and good-old-fashioned compromise, the Michigan Senate and House last week passed a series of bills to regulate internet gaming in the state. Earning overwhelming, bipartisan supermajorities in both houses, the bills landed on Governor Rick Snyder’s desk with a clear mandate from the legislature.
What did Snyder do? The Governor ‘dropped the ball in the endzone’, vetoed the bills at the 11th-hour, and then he was less than honest with Michiganders about his reasons for doing so. Par for the course for someone who started with such promise but leaves the office with approval ratings in the 30’s – covered in the stench of the Flint water crisis and sexual abuse scandal at Michigan State.
According to his veto message, Governor Snyder killed regulated internet gaming because the data doesn’t exist to justify it, and he fears that internet gaming will cannibalize the state lottery and existing casinos.
In all fairness to EFM Kurtz, part of his rate increase was intended to replenish $ 15.7 million which had been transferred from the Flint water fund in 2007 to pay a sewerage overflow settlement. However this entire situation was almost certainly an attempt to quickly balance Flint’s books and wrap up emergency financial management. Lansing was certainly sweating EFM Kurtz to conclude Flint’s restoration in order to shut down the social justice warriors before our 2014 election.
So what is happening here, technically? Will Detroit water fix Flint’s problems? (Hint: No)
Meanwhile, Attorney General Schuette completed a binding legal agreement with Enbridge to prevent Enbridge Pipeline 5 from being used to transport ‘heavy crude oil’ under the Straits of Mackinac. This agreement formally implements the first recommendation of the Michigan DEQ Petroleum Pipeline Task Force Report released in July to ban heavy crude oil in Line 5. Sounds good, but Enbridge Pipeline 5 does not now have the pumping horsepower for heavy crude transmission, and the weight of the crude has very little to do with pipeline integrity. Corrosive constituents in the crude, biofouling, and a host of other technical issues are far more important determinants of pipeline integrity. This agreement has great optics, but little consequence.
The ball is now in the Governor’s court, so to speak. The report is not public yet, but the press release is out. It only took the State independent review team 18 calendar days to figure out what everyone knows: Wayne County is in a ‘Financial Emergency’. Here is the money shot from the Michigan Department of Treasury press release:
The team’s extensive report indicates that numerous conditions led to the determination that a financial emergency exists in the county. Those conditions include the following:
The county’s last four annual financial audits revealed notable variances between General Fund revenues and expenditures as initially budgeted, as amended, and as actually realized. In addition, County officials underestimated actual expenditures in three of the fiscal years by amounts ranging from $16.7 million to $23.7 million.
County officials engaged in unbudgeted expenditures in violation of Public Act 2 of 1968, the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act.
Although there was agreement among county officials that existing detention facilities are inadequate, there is no consensus about whether to complete construction on a new jail or to renovate existing facilities.
According to the county executive’s recovery plan, unfunded healthcare-related liabilities were estimated to be $1.3 billion as of the last actuarial valuation with funding set aside for this purpose of less than one percent of liabilities. Healthcare-related liabilities represent 40 percent of the county’s long-term financial obligations.
The Governor now has 10 days to take one of five actions: do nothing, conduct another ‘neutral’ evaluation, arrange a consent agreement, impose an emergency manager, or file the County for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Governor Snyder's 'Smart Justice' Improves The Risk/Reward Payoff For Armed Criminals
Michigan House Bills 4419/4420, Proposed Substitute H-3, gut Michigan’s 25 year old mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with firearms. Introduced by Republican Representative Kurt Heise (R-20th) of Plymouth and co-authored by 28 bleeding heart Republicans (4) and Democrats (24), these bills:
1. Convert Michigan’s long standing mandatory 2/5/10 year minimum sentences for criminals using firearms into maximum sentences2. Allow ‘use of firearms’ sentences to be served concurrently with the underlying crime sentences for the first time3. Allow prisoners serving ‘use of firearms’ sentences to be paroled prior to completing even these sentences
Now the proponents of ‘Smart Justice’ are telling the public that their effort will:
– reduce the number of ‘non violent prisoners’ held in Michigan prisons– reduce the price Michigan pays for incarceration
Detroit Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference 2015 Starts Today - You Won't Like The Outcome
Is that a donkey in front of the Grand Hotel?
Later today Michigan’s Self Very Important Persons start checking in at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference held on Mackinac Island. At $ 2,150 per person for Chamber members and $ 2,925 for Chamber wannabees, average Michiganders will not be much in evidence. The attendees list reads like the last itemized contribution report for SafeRoadsYes!, along with the clueless Michigan politicians who endorsed Proposal 1.
The Detroit Regional Chamber’s “Vision and Pillars” for the 2015 Conference is innocuous enough, but the Conference’s agenda is far less oblique. A host of left luminaries and crony capitalists orbiting Michigan government will be plotting higher taxes, bigger spending, and more vexatious regulations. When they are not drinking.
The official agenda is all about Detroit, Michigan schools, alternative business subsidies, and the roads, but there is also the transformation of Detroit Water & Sewerage Department into the Great Lakes Water Authority lurking in the background. Roads are the most interesting part of the official 2015 Conference agenda, given the near universal support for Proposal 1 amongst the attendees. Despite touting ‘vision’, expect the Conference to endorse new taxes over improved efficiencies and better engineering.
URGENT HELP NEEDED: An internal poll of the Michigan Femdom Fund has shown that Governor Snyder is up 100% to 0% over his challenger Mark Schauer. This “internal” poll must have only included “pegging” their staff members for these results?
But this November the stakes are too high and we need your help. Please consider making a donation today of $20, $35, $50 or whatever you can generously afford to help us assure that Gov. Snyder is re-elected as to advance the Common Core, Gay Marriage and other progressive issues that Gov. Snyder will support.
For those low information voters and party loyalist I have compiled a list of bullet points, headlines and search phrases as to make it harder for those types to justify to themselves how they cast their votes!