LANSING, MI – The state House was locked from the inside Tuesday night as lawmakers debated tax hikes proposed by Democrats. Lawmakers passed a 3% tax on physicians, intended to backfill cuts to Medicaid.
The finger-pointing on the floor was over who was breaking promises. Republicans say Governor Granholm is breaking a 2007 promise not to raise taxes again. Democrats say the Legislature is breaking a promise by eliminating the Michigan Promise college scholarship. Democrats want to generate new revenue to fund programs like the scholarship, which were cut from the budget last week.
But Republican state Representative Bob Genetski says the state needs to be careful how much it taxes people during tough times.
"No state, nor any country has ever taxed itself out of a recession, nor depression. But many have taxed themselves into it," Genetski says.
The House is expected to vote on a tax on tobacco products, other than cigarettes, as well.