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Mon November 16, 2009
Senate GOP slows on reform plan push
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The next couple weeks in Lansing should be quiet ones as lawmakers break for deer hunting and Thanksgiving. But their vacations only delay heated debates on issues that must be resolved before the end of the year.
The lawmakers are expected to spend the remaining weeks this year getting down to a little R-and-R - that is, revenue and reform.
House Democrats still want to find revenue to restore money cut from the K-through-12 schools budget last month. But Senate Republicans say budget negotiations are over and they are focused on a package of reforms that may help prevent shortfalls in the future.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he likes Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon's plan to create a health insurance pool for all state workers and teachers.
"You know, I'd first of all like to see him move his reform out of the House. He says he can get 900 million in savings out of that, I think now would be the time to do that," Bishop says.
Bishop says Senate reform ideas won't be unveiled until he has a chance to discuss them with Dillon.