In Michigan, the senate majority leader, Mike Bishop, has proposed a plan to Cut all public workers’ pay, benefits. His timing, just ahead of the Massachusetts massacre could hardly have been better.
From the article …
Teachers, professors and state and local government workers should take a 5 percent pay cut later this year and remain at that level for the next three years to help save taxpayers money, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop said Tuesday.
The Republican from Rochester said he is proposing a constitutional amendment to go to voters in August that would suspend collective bargaining rights and allow the pay cut to take effect.
Another constitutional amendment would require that all public employees pay 20 percent of their health care premiums unless they participate in a health savings account or wellness program. If they did, they would have to cover 15 percent of their premiums.
It’s all part of a plan Bishop said would save the state about $2 billion, enough to eliminate the estimated $1.6 billion deficit in next year’s budget. Schools and local governments could see hundreds of millions more in savings, he added.
“We cannot afford the government that we have today,” he said. “We’re asking that our public servants … step up to the plate to be a part of the solution.”
Michigan Manufacturers Association Vice President Mike Johnston noted that “enacting these reforms is exactly what Michigan needs to reduce cost barriers and be competitive in the global economy.”
The Michigan Municipal League warned that failing to act on the suggested changes to binding arbitration for police officers and firefighters or pay for consolidated departments “will result in more public safety layoffs and more cuts to essential local services.”
Medicaid spending cuts of $160 million to $500 million were also in Bishop’s proposal, although he offered no specifics on where he wants to cut. He also would require school districts to competitively bid out transportation, food and custodial services, and to keep administrative spending to 28 percent or less, which would force 211 districts to trim costs.
House and Senate Democrats said they agree with the need to trim government, but want to know why Bishop has blocked their efforts to provide financially struggling homeowners with foreclosure assistance and lower insurance rates.
They called again Tuesday for Republicans to support their efforts to end free, taxpayer-funded lifetime health care for state lawmakers starting at age 55 who serve at least six years. Bishop proposed ending the perk, but only for lawmakers who weren’t fully vested by Jan. 1.
Proposal Just A Down Payment
Mike Bishop’s proposal is just a down payment as to what needs to happen. Moreover, one has to wonder what he is thinking in regards to taxpayer-funded lifetime health care for state lawmakers (his own best interests perhaps?).
There should be no taxpayer funded, free health care for any politician, let alone those serving a mere six years.
Nonetheless, the idea to suspend collective bargaining rights and reduce pay is a major step in the right direction. Bishop’s proposal deserves your support.
Prevailing Wage Idiocy In Pittsburgh
Inquiring minds are noting Pittsburgh Prevailing Wage Bill Gains Support.
Backers of prevailing wage legislation under consideration by Pittsburgh City Council yesterday added religious fervor to a debate that had, until then, been largely about development and dollars.
Standing in cold, trampled, muddy grass between Pittsburgh Schenley High School and the Bakery Square development, representatives of Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations used words from their holy books and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday to bolster the bill ahead of a possible council vote tomorrow.
“We pray that our leaders will be granted the wisdom to finally pass the prevailing wage bill,” said Rabbi Jamie Gibson of Temple Sinai, as about 150 people cheered.
He said the city shouldn’t back developers that create minimum wage jobs, rhetorically asking them, “Why can’t you get by on minimum profit?”
“Unfortunately, this justice-filled [legislation] was vetoed at the 23rd hour by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl,” said the Rev. David Thornton, prompting the crowd to boo loudly. He said the mayor had initially pledged not to stand in the way of the legislation if council approved it. “When the vote was unanimous, the mayor changed his mind at the last minute and vetoed the legislation.”
I commend Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for standing up to union clowns and economic idiots. But another vote is coming up.
Living Wage Madness
Please consider Pittsburgh council debates prevailing, living wage bills.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Legislation that would affect wages at future city development sites is set for a public hearing Monday, following a contentious debate in Pittsburgh City Council about which option should receive a vote first.
One prevailing wage bill, backed by unions and now sponsored by all nine council members, would compel employers at future, large, city-backed development sites to pay hotel, grocery, janitorial and cafeteria workers wages that match the average earnings of their peers in the city. It will get a hearing at 10 a.m. Monday, and may come up for a tentative vote next Wednesday.
Another prevailing wage bill, backed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, would have the same effect but apply to fewer development sites and only would kick in if Allegheny County approved similar rules. It also could be voted tentatively on Wednesday.
The third, introduced yesterday by Councilman Ricky Burgess, would guarantee a “living wage” — estimated today at $11.50 an hour plus health insurance — to employees of the city, its major contractors, and beneficiaries of its subsidies. That bill will be the subject of a public hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, but a first vote was postponed for three weeks, over Mr. Burgess’s strong objection.
Every one of those alternatives with bring about the further demise of Pittsburgh. The proposals will drive up costs, hurt small businesses, and reduce hiring.
They will also cause your property taxes to go up.
Read that last sentence again. If you support this nonsense you are voting to raise your property taxes for the benefit of unions and city workers.
If you live in Pittsburgh you better get a hold of your Councilmen (and have everyone you know do the same thing) to knock some economic sense into the city council member’s heads before your taxes rise, Pittsburgh goes bankrupt, or both.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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