In Michigan
4:45 pm
Fri March 26, 2010

Finger-pointing leads legislative spring break

LANSING, MI –

Lawmakers at the state Capitol began their two-week spring break with growing tension over budget negotiations.

As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, legislative leaders ended session with a familiar round of finger-pointing.

AUDIO:
Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate have been working pretty much on parallel tracks. They did not get in each other's way. But they never really engaged with each other, either.

Until this week.

Frustration seeped into conversations as legislative leaders struggled to wrap up their work before the break.

A tired Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop scratches his face and says he's irritated by the absence of Governor Granholm in the discussions.

"I don't even know where the governor is today," he says. "I have no idea where she is. I assume she's out of the state."

Bishop called a meeting of legislative leaders at the Capitol. But House Speaker Andy Dillon says Bishop should have been trying to work together long ago.

"So he waits until the last date to come and talk to people?" he asks. "I don't get it."

Dillon and Bishop say they will continue to work together while the Legislature breaks for two weeks.