**maybe Thoreau had it right**
I am also very passionate about some things. I really do have a love for this stupid Great Lakes State of my birth and upbringing, but really, it is testing my patience lately. For those of you not following the mess that is the current Michigan state budget crisis, read this.
After nearly a year of fighting to balance our budget and get the state at an acceptable level, Governor Jennifer Granholm has finally said that as of midnight tonight all State operations deemed as unnecessary, are suspended until further notice. What does this affect, I wondered earlier. Here are just a few things that would happen:
- If the shutdown continues for more than 16 days, state aid payments to schools will be delayed. This delay may force some local schools to limit programs or transportation or cancel school altogether.
- If the shutdown continues for more than 21 days, state aid payments to higher education institutions will be delayed. This delay may force some community colleges or universities to limit or cancel classes or activities.
- Without an appropriation from the Legislature, the state's Medicaid program cannot make payments to providers that see patients with valid eligibility for Fiscal Year 2008. While the state will not make Medicaid payments during a government shutdown, it is expected that providers who render services during that period will eventually receive reimbursement.
- The state's six psychiatric facilities will continue their 24/7 operation during a government shutdown. However, some activities at these facilities may temporarily be discontinued, and admissions may be delayed.
- The state will discontinue nursing home inspections during the course of a shutdown.
- During a government shutdown, Michigan Department of Agriculture staff will not be available to test for pesticides, nitrates, or volatile chemicals. (This is for things like water).
- A limited number of Michigan State Police troopers will provide law enforcement service on an emergency basis. (This effects those people, who like my parents, do not have local police, but rather, depend on a State Trooper outpost out in BFE!)
- All Michigan State Police work sites will be closed to the public and will not provide administrative services during the shutdown.
- All Michigan State Police forensic laboratories will be closed during the shutdown.
- Fingerprint-based background checks for employment or licensing purposes will not be available during the shutdown.
- No new applications for our public assistance programs can be made during the shutdown. If you have an emergency need for food assistance, housing or other emergency assistance, you may make an application for the State Emergency Relief program at the local department of human services.
- No new applications for day care subsidy can be taken during the shutdown.
- Applications for adult home help will not be processed during the shutdown.
- The Secretary of State has indicated that branch offices will close during shutdown.
- The State of Michigan Library will be closed (which though they don't say it, might have an effect on dozens of libraries state wide, depending on how MEL-Michigan electronic library-is sanctioned.
- Waterfowl hunting season will open Oct. 6. However, if the partial shutdown is still in effect, there will be no staff available to run the draws at managed waterfowl hunts. (Hunting is a big source of income for the state).
- Retailers will be instructed to stop Lottery sales during a government shutdown. (Michigan lottery sales go to help with state education funding).
- Liquor sales are regulated by the state and therefore will stop during a government shutdown. Stores will be able to sell the inventory they have on hand, but will be unable to purchase additional inventory.
- In order to be sold, cigarettes must contain a State of Michigan tobacco tax stamp. Stores will be able to sell the inventory they have on hand. However, if a wholesaler does not have sufficient stamps, cigarettes that do not carry a stamp cannot be sold to retailers.
- According to state law, the three Detroit casinos cannot offer gaming. During a shutdown, gaming inspectors would not be working, therefore the Detroit casinos could not offer gaming. (Again, the casinos in Detroit, major source of income).
- State historic sites will be closed during government shutdown.
- All road construction on state highways will cease during the shutdown. (Great...let's stretch construction out until the lovely Michigan winter!)
- State welcome centers and highway rest areas, including the bathroom facilities and parking lots, will be closed.
- State docks and marinas will be closed during shutdown. In addition, locks operated by the state will not be in operation.
- All Michigan State Police weigh stations will be closed during the shutdown.
- Air, water, and wetland permits will not be accepted or processed during shutdown
- Business license applications will not be taken or processed during shutdown.
These are just some of the ways that people will be affected if this state shut down happens. (The whole list is available here for anyone that is interested.)
While some of these things seem trivial, they really aren't. The major things that would happen is that the state would lose millions on the closed casinos in Detroit, which are some of the main tourist attractions that the city has to offer. The closed casinos would mean 700+ people would be temporarily laid off. Nearly two-thirds of of Michigan's 53,000+ state workers would be temporarily laid off.
I was talking to someone the other day that said that this doesn't really her yet. It made me so angry to hear someone around my age talking like that. When will we grow out of this self centered age?! It will affect all of us if and when the Michigan income tax goes up from 3.9 percent to 4.6 percent, and we started getting charged a 6% service tax!
This whole state shut down, whether it happens or not, has given rise to a lot of thoughts about our civic and moral responsibilities. What is our responsibility in this situation? What can we do? How will this affect the already poverty stricken Detroit? What would become of all those who were out of work for however long this Sentate/House pissing match lasts?!
Well, dear readers, I don't know. I'm just one Monster Library Student feeling very frustrated.
**Thoreau's Civil Disobedience**