Skubick: Lawmakers near budget deal. Or not.


The first time in months there is a glimmer of hope that the Senate Republican leader will eventually sign off on a budget deal that would restore funding to a variety of state services.

The governor has signed off on a budget deal.

House Republican leader Lee Chatfield has, too.

And the two Democratic leaders are on board but so far the all-important fifth vote is not there yet.

But private talks over the compromise reached earlier by Governor Whitmer and the House Speaker apparently are moving in the right direction to get Mike Shirkey to sign off.

“The conversations that are happening are moving in the right direction,” said Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr.

In fact, the Senate Democratic leader is 80% confident that before the end of the year the budget impasse will be resolved and East Lansing Senator Hertel agrees.

Skubick: “We’ve got a 50-50 chance?”

Sen. Hertel: “No, I think its higher than that. I’d say 80%.”

Skubick: “That’s higher than expected.”

Sen. Hertel: “Yes, but I believe in the end an agreement and goodwill will prevail.”

Mr. Hertel makes his assessment based on his conversation with the Senate Republican leader who has not signed off, but he’s reportedly under some pressure to back off his lone opposition

“The fact¬†remains that we have four of the five signing off on this deal and we need him and I’m hopeful,” says Sen. Jim Ananich.

Sen. Mike Shirkey adds, “we haven’t taken anything off the table on that deal and other items were are discussing. The speaker and I are on a pathway to resolving this and we’ll see if the governor is onboard or not.”

Will he or won’t he?

Restoring millions of dollars in state services rides on what Mr. Shirkey decides.  

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