October 07, 2009 It is unbelievable that our lawmakers are considering reducing the amount of per student funding and cutting the Michigan Promise Scholarship program in order to close the gap in the budget deficit.
Equally unbelievable is their failure to complete the budget by its September 30th deadline, forcing another "shutdown" of state government before an "emergency continuation budget" was approved on October 1.
Most residents understand that cuts are necessary—but it is incomprehensible that the deepest would involve children and young people who need a quality education more than ever to compete in the job market. They're also the best bet for the future of the state when it comes to bringing fresh ideas and areas of growth to the suffocated economy. To cut funding for education and eliminate the scholarship program is to turn our backs on the next generation and basically give up on Michigan's future.
What's worse is to have an entire 12 months to examine revenues and expenditures, effective programs and those that could be trimmed and wait until a couple of weeks before the deadline to make changes. That is irresponsible and inexcusable, to say the least.
The mere fact that this has become the status quo for our elected representatives in Lansing indicates that government reform should begin in the House and Senate; perhaps the first cut should be the elimination of a full time legislature that fails to accomplish ordinary tasks expected of business managers and home economists.