The Michigan Senate did not vote today on the Republican no-fault car insurance package giving Republican leaders and the governor more time to talk about finding a compromise.
So does the governor think the sides are any closer to a deal today than they were last Thursday?
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is to the point. “No, but conversations are being had.”
After threating to veto the Republican House plan last week, the governor has huddled with the Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey and the House Republican Speaker Lee Chatfield.
The Republican Senate could have passed a plan today but chose not to do it and the governor reports that’s a plus.
“They’re not sending the bills to me yet so there is a conversation at the staff level proceeding which should give everyone a sense that there’s potential,” claimed Whitmer.
But is this just going through the motions?
“It depends on who you talk to but I’ve talked to them directly and there are staff meetings so I’ll take them at their word that they’re serious.”
The governor has another problem. There were ten or so Democrats who wanted to vote yes on the Republican plan last Thursday night, but she urged them not to do it and they didn’t.
But Republican bill sponsor Rep. Jason Shepard reveals a division in the Democratic ranks as some of those Democrats are worried that their “no” vote could hurt them in the next election.
“There is definitely some fracture in that side,” says Rep. Shephard.
He senses that some Democrats want another bite of the apple to vote yes.
Will there be a deal?
“If there is something, we could well know in short order,” claims Gov. Whitmer.