In Michigan
9:00 pm
Wed March 17, 2010

Former treasure says lawmakers need to get past differences and solve fiscal problems

East Lansing, MI – Michigan lawmakers need to find real solutions to the state's economic problems instead of blaming each other for failed initiatives. That was the message Wednesday from former state treasurer Doug Roberts. Roberts was the key note speaker at a forum on the state's economic health and public policy.

Audio:

Doug Roberts was the state treasurer under then-Governor John Engler in 1994 when the state made significant changes to its tax structure. Roberts was a key figure in developing and selling Proposal A.

He says today's lawmakers need to come together to find solutions to the state's problems rather than laying blame on each other. He says candidates seeking public office this November also need to be realistic about working together to get their initiatives passed.

"People need to understand that someone who says 'I'm going to do this no matter what" is kidding them selves. Because you can't do anything without votes. You need 56 votes in the house, 20 votes in the senate and a Governor who will sign it. So I get a little annoyed when somebody says 'you vote for me and this is what's going to happen.'"

Roberts says Michigan's economic problems are too serious to wait for a whole-sale change in state government. He says it could take years before abolishing term limits or making the legislature part-time would have any affect.