Legislation to Repeal Service Tax Introduced
The Freep reports that although the ink is barely dry on the package that averted a governmental shutdown, legislation was introduced yesterday in the Senate to repeal a key component: the 6% service tax on a strange mix of businesses. The tax, which has drawn fire, is expected to raise about $725 million a year and legislative leaders (including Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop) oppose the repeal as they have no idea how the revenue would be replaced. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has been vocal in their opposition, and Jack Lessenberry has an interview with the chamber’s director of tax policy and economic development, Tricia Kinley.
Shutdown II: Jason Returns
Meanwhile, the “new look” Detroit News writes that lawmakers have made no visible progress on hammering out $440 million in budget-balancing cuts as the state is closing in on another shutdown deadline – appropriately scheduled for Halloween. At the present time, the largest “cut” is actually a rollback in promised increases to public schools and universities from 2.5% to 1.5%. Perhaps “cost of living” isn’t in Lansing’s vocabulary. Read Another shutdown of state looming in the Detroit News.
Richardson All Wet
Proving that he has mastered the art of political speech, New Mexico Governor & Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson executed a quick U-Turn from his statement that there should be a national water summit to find ways water-rich northern states could help the West, issuing a statement that “Richardson believes firmly in keeping water in its basin of origin and of the rights of states to oversee water distribution.” Read the rest of the article in the Freep … and also consider that although he took it back, there’s no doubt that other folks in the chronically dry West are eying Great Lakes water. I guess a silver lining of a water-hungry south and west is that there might be some national attention (and funding) for Great Lakes environmental projects.
The Cap by Mario Q
This photo was taken on June 5, 2007, with storm clouds blowing through. Mario lives in the Lansing area and has a number of photos of Michigan’s Capitol building and lots of other cool shots. Here’s a link for a slideshow of photos of the Michigan Capitol from the Absolute Michigan pool!
It seems cruel to associate any Michigan town with such a gallery of horrors, but there’s one Michigan town that glories in such things. According to The Really Long History of Hell from Hell2u.com, Hell was settled by George Reeves, a man who required a bit more elbow room than most. Reeves owned the mill and made the whiskey and when asked on October 13, 1841 by the State of Michigan what to name his town, he purportedly replied, “Call it Hell for all I care, everyone else does.” Heck, there’s even a Hell, Michigan comic book! Wikipedia’s entry on Hell, Michigan lists the population as 266 and the list an alternate and not nearly as colorful reason for Hell’s name.