MI Senate committee to start voting on reforms


A state Senate panel is expected to start voting next week on Republican proposals for government reforms.

The reform package includes the elimination of lifetime benefits for future lawmakers, more cuts to Medicaid, and a pay cut for all public employees. That would require a constitutional amendment, which would have to be approved by voters. House Speaker Andy Dillon says he thinks the Senate Republican plan will still come up short when lawmakers work to balance the budget. But Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he doesn't think Democrats will come up with a credible plan for resolving the deficit.

"The Speaker's going to roll out his own numbers, but I think it is intended to just justify whatever tax increase they're going to propose."

One proposal floating around the Capitol would expand the sales tax to services at a reduced rate. Speaker Dillon and fellow Democrats are expected to unveil their plans for the budget when they return from a retreat this week.