Thousands more protest Gov. Snyder's cuts. Legislators make some compromises.
Wed, 13 Apr 2011 15:45:34 GMT —
Updated April 13 5:15pm
Looks like the message is getting through.
Union supporters don't want their pensions taxed. Now, Governor Rick Snyder and republicans offer a compromise.
However, union supporters say the compromise is not enough, and that they won't be silent.
"That's not right! That's not right!" shout union supporters outside the State Capitol Wednesday.
Inside, they scream, "They say cutback, we say fight back!"
They line the hallways and stairwells shouting "Let us in!"
They nearly got inside the House of Representatives that was in session.
Tuesday, the governor and republicans announced a compromise to tax pensions up to age 67. After that, they would be tax-free.
Democrats still disagree.
Dan Reyes of UAW Local 599 says, "If you want to compromise, let's not tax retirees at all. Leave their pensions alone and go after where the money really is."
Conservatives say taxing pensions needs to be discussed.
Ken Braun, managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential says, "Most other states do tax pension income."
Union supporters say the compromise is meant to keep them quiet and to send them home. They say they won't let that happen.
"We're going to fight until this thing is over. It's 'change your ways or we'll recall you,'" says Reyes.
During the protest, a house panel approved a measure to cut state aid for higher education by 15%. That measure will now go to committee.
Meanwhile, K-12 education could still be cut hundreds of dollars per student.
"We have some of the highest paid teachers in the country, and we have some of the poorest tax payers in the country. When you look at it on ability to pay, we have the most expensive educators," says Braun.
The Michigan Education Association says you get what you pay for.
Rosemary Carey, communications consultant with the MEA says, "The governor says education is important. It's what's going to rebuild this state. If you say that, how can you turn around and do these drastic cuts?"
Those at the rally also voiced opposition for eliminating tax credits for low-income workers and efforts to remove collective bargaining.
Thousands are rallying on the State Capital TMs lawn. Wednesday, legislatures made changes to some of Governor Rick Snyder TMs budget proposals.
According to the Associated Press, a Michigan House panel has voted to cut state aid going to the state's public universities by about 15 percent. The measure will now go to the House Appropriations Committee.
In addition to the higher education plan, the Associated Press reports that Republican lawmakers made changes to the plan to tax retirees. Under this compromise, pensions would only be taxed until the senior citizen reaches 67 years old.
While some changes are being made at this time, groups continue to protests the harsh cuts. NBC25 TMs Sister station, WDIV-TV, reports that the Michigan AFL-CIO, teachers unions, and other groups are gathering in Lansing.
NBC25 TMs Dan Armstrong is in Lansing now, and will have more details on the budget battle as it becomes available.
Are you happy with these compromises so far? Vote on our poll and leave us your comments.