By a vote of 25-0, the Michigan House stripped all funds in the supplemental appropriations bill, including the Edson support.
EDSON $$$ DEAD??? Michigan House Strips Sen. Green's $300,000 Support
Ship Display Backers Scratching for Tug Fuel Funds to Tow Ship Here
*****INFORMATION UPDATE . . . FOLLOW THIS LINK
The Michigan Legislature has vetoed Senator Mike Green's proposal for $300,000 from the state budget to help pay for diesel fuel for tugs to bring the USS Edson here from Philadelphia.
By a vote of 25-0, the Michigan House Appropriations Committee, headed by Rep. Charles Moss, Birmingham Republican, stripped all funds in the supplemental appropriations bill, including the Edson support.
The Michigan Senate had approved the supplemental bill 31-6 on June 7 but the House dropped the Edson funds, and funding for other projects on a 79-31 vote last Thursday.
Nine Democrats concurred with the majority of 16 Republicans on the House committee to send a "zeroed out" budget to the Senate, although Democrats voiced a protest to the action on their website.
Sen. Green's communications director, Ryan Mitchell, says the senator will continue to search for grants or loans to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Committee. "The fight's not over," he added.
The House Democratic statement:
"House Democrats today refused to give their support for a Republican-backed supplemental budget that didn't specify which programs would receive funding and left only blank spaces where lawmakers could fill in dollar amounts at a later date. Instead of passing a fill-in-the-blanks version of a supplemental budget and trusting Republicans to fairly allocate funds at some point in the future, Democrats said the Legislature should be funding programs today that help Michigan schools, families and homeowners."
An aide in the office of Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the Senate concurred in the "zeroed out" supplemental budget sent back by the House Appropriations Committee.
That apparently left Senator Green and the Edson backers up the creek without a paddle, at least as far as direct state budget financial assistance is concerned.
"Senator Green worked hard to get representatives to put the money in the bill and he will continue to explore other options," said Mr. Mitchell.
"Senator Green is not into the business of pork," said Mr. Mitchell. "He believes the Edson is an important cultural and economic tool for education and tourism and he will be pursuing other options."
An aide in the office of Rep. Richard LeBlanc, Democratic minority vice chair on the appropriations committee, said the "zero-based" supplemental budget was returned to the Senate which had the power to make changes. However, the Senate agreed to the House action stripping all funds from the bill, the aide said.
Sen. Kahn said House members apparently considered the Edson funds "pretty unimportant" but added that another appropriations bill will be brought up before July 18 and he will "see if it can be done," with help from House Republicans like Jim Stamas of Midland.
"One guy's pork is another guy's important project," said Sen. Kahn. "But we still have a shot and July 18 is the day to look for."
Local News Article 7097
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
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