Michigan Capitol Notes

A round-up of action at the state capitol, Lansing…

At-Will Legislative Calendar
Senate Republicans today passed a measure designed to increase their productivity by not locking their chamber into a set calendar, allowing them to break for vacation or recess at the will of the chamber. Their next break, despite a large number of unresolved budgetary issues, commences Thursday June 28. Senator Mike Bishop indicated he is not interested in canceling his vacation to resolve the budget issues, even though it leaves school districts around the state scrambling to approve monies for the next fiscal year without knowing how much revenue the state will actually provide.

Meanwhile, the Senate also passed a measure requiring intermediate school districts and their member schools to adopt a single, common school calendar, with defined breaks for Holidays.

Asked about the chances of passing the At-Will Calendar and the Common School Calendar bills in the House of Representatives, a spokesman for Speaker Andy Dillon said, “It’s too early to comment on the legislation.”

Michigan Not Exotic Enough to be Junket Destination
Sen. Michelle McManus says Michigan is not a junket destination. The issue arose when asked about a charter fishing trip she and several other lawmakers are taking next week, paid for by the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation. McManus, who chairs the Senate Campaign and Election Oversight Committee, said, “Let’s be clear: This is a donation from the charter boat fishermen. It would be no different than if a friend offered to take me out (fishing).”

“If I was going to go on a junket, I’d go to Hawaii and all those other places with everyone else,” she said.

Asked whether he or other Democrats would accept such a sport fishing trip, a spokesman for Speaker Dillon said, “No comment.”

Reward for Missing Spine
Michigan House Democrats made the stunning announcement today that their Leadership’s Spine was missing. Anyone with information leading to its recovery will be eligible for a cash reward of $20,000.

When asked how the spine of the Democratic House Leadership could be missing in the first place, Speaker Dillon said through a spokesman, “I’m not going to comment on an ongoing search and rescue mission.”

Despite the seeming urgency, canceling vacations to look for their spine would be a waste of time now said Rep. George Cushingberry because there wasn’t enough interest in doing so. “I don’t know what the point is.” He also pointed out that the Senate is going on vacation. So if the Senate is going on vacation, the House might as well, too.

Anyone with information on the missing spine is encouraged to contact the House Leadership.

No Spokesman Necessary
In related news, Speaker Dillon fired his spokesman. In a written statement he said, “Whenever I am asked how I respond to the latest criticism leveled at the Governor by Senator Mike Bishop, or what I think about any other matter, it is far easier to for me to simply say No Comment than it is to waste taxpayer dollars paying someone to say it.”

Asked how he thought the increased spokesman duties would impose on his already busy workload, Speaker Dillon said, “I’m not going to comment on personnel issues.”


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