In Michigan
7:01 pm
Mon March 8, 2010

State worker pay freeze in question

LANSING, MI – A lingering question at the state Capitol is whether Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop can find enough support to block a pay raise promised to state employees. Bishop has said he will continue to push for a freeze.

Audio:

Some Democratic senators voted against the pay freeze last week because they said state workers were promised this raise.

Republican state Senator Bruce Patterson refused to vote on the measure because he wanted to know first if the measure was, in fact, constitutional. He exploded at the end of session last week when he felt attacked by Bishop - who is running for state attorney general.

"I take my oath of office seriously. And anyone who expects to be the people's attorney, the attorney general for the state of Michigan, should also do so. Not be so cavalier in his attitude."

Patterson's statement drew some applause from the Democratic side of the chamber, which only deepens the question of whether Bishop can find a two-thirds majority to block the pay raise scheduled for this fall.