The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/10/12 at 04:47 PM ET
Sigh. Via Paul, per the Detroit News's Chad Livengood, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's decision to back a controversial "right-to-work" bill has officially yielded the end of bipartisan legislation in the Michigan legislature, and I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Ilitches' attempts to build a follow-on rink to Joe Louis Arena may be hitting a legislative dead end as a retaliatory measure:
Minority Leader Rich Hammel said his caucus plans to vote "no" on a bill that would allow Olympia Development to tap nearly $13 million in downtown development authority tax funds for a proposed $650 million mixed-use district comprising a multipurpose events center along with retail, office and residential housing space.
"They will vote 'no' on the Ilitch project," said Hammel, D-Mount Morris Township. "From our perspective, I think it's important that we stand together united — and we will."
House Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, the bill's sponsor, said Saturday he was trying to secure more Republican votes for House Bill 5463 over the weekend. Republicans control 64 of the House's 110 seats — a majority set to decline to 59 votes next year — in the lame duck session that leaders hope to end Thursday.
"The Dems have indicated they're going to vote no on everything and we're going to have to work hard to get (more Republican) votes," said Walsh, R-Livonia.
But it's a difficult sell with some conservative Republicans who oppose taxpayer support of private development, Walsh said.
"We have some people who simply believe that no public money should be used for any private sector project," he said.
Is there any sense to this? Why yes, there are senisble legislators in the State House and Senate...They're just very, very hard to find:
Rep. Tim Greimel, the House minority leader-elect, said the Ilitch legislation needs more vetting and should be delayed until early next year.
"It's a big deal when people are asked to devote taxpayer money to a private development," said Greimel, D-Auburn Hills. "For them to try to rush this through lame duck is every bit as unacceptable as any of the others policy issues they're trying to run through lame duck."
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