Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
By The Associated Press
If no budget agreement is reached by the end of the week, it's likely state government will partially shut down on Monday. Here's what that shutdown might look like, based on a release from Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Associated Press interviews with interest groups, labor unions and other organizations.
K-12 SCHOOLS: All districts should be able to remain open at least the first three weeks of October, after which they'll learn if they're going to get their next round of state aid payments. But then it gets dicey -- especially for schools that already have tapped their reserves while dealing with stagnant state funding in recent years.
Some districts told the Michigan School Business Officials they may have to shut their doors if a protracted state shutdown causes a missed payment. But most districts said they would tap their reserves or borrow more money to stay afloat. Several districts might start to trim back nonacademic programs -- including sports, field trips and other activities -- soon after a state shutdown to save money.
"The big picture is that school districts will do everything they can to stay open -- period," said Tom White, executive director of the Michigan School Business Officials.
PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES: The state's 15 public four-year schools and 28 community colleges should stay open, but layoffs or some other cutbacks are possible if the shutdown continues for long.
Another option would be to raise tuition, which already increased an average of about 10 percent at universities this fall. Universities haven't received their August payments from the state, and the next payment is due Oct. 16. Combined, they account for $280 million. Some community colleges might have to borrow money or tap into their reserves to stay afloat.
"It's going to affect the small rural schools much more than the larger, urban schools," said Mike Hansen, president of the Michigan Community College Association. "Some of these schools could be on the brink of financial disaster."
PRISONS: The state's 42 prisons would stay open, and parolees and probationers in the community would continue to be supervised, state officials said. Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said the assumption is 80 percent of the department's 16,000-plus employees would continue working and be paid.
If those workers weren't paid, they would sue, said Mel Grieshaber of the Michigan Corrections Organization, which represents more than 10,000 correctional officers.
POLICE AND FIRE: At least some of the state's more than 1,000 state troopers are likely to stay on the job, but it's unclear what the extent of their services will be. At a minimum, some administrative state police jobs could be disrupted in a shutdown.
Local police and fire departments depend heavily on state revenue-sharing checks. If those payments are held up, layoffs would vary from city to city, according to the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. The state already has about 1,600 fewer police officers than it had during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
DETROIT CASINOS: Granholm says they would be closed down if there's a shutdown. But a casino spokesman said the casino operators hope to persuade the Michigan Gaming Control Board on Thursday that state regulators are paid with casino fees rather than tax dollars, so the regulators should be able to do the oversight needed to keep the casinos open.
If they close, 7,000 casino workers will be out of a job and the casinos no longer will pay taxes amounting to $450,000 a day for the state and $440,000 a day for the city of Detroit.
LOTTERY SALES: Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato says the Lottery Bureau will hold some drawings next week, even if there's a shutdown, because tickets already have been sold for them. But a shutdown would mean no new tickets would be sold starting Monday, and no prizes would be paid out on winning tickets until the shutdown ends.
Ending ticket sales would cost the state about $2 million a day in lost lottery profits, which go to K-12 schools.
DRIVER'S LICENSES AND VEHICLE TITLES: Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land says branch offices would close if there's a government shutdown. The department processes 85,000 transactions daily, including 10,000 driver's licenses, 36,000 license plate tabs and 12,500 vehicle titles.
People could still use the Internet or mail to request some services. But no one would be working to process any requests until the shutdown ends.
ROAD PROJECTS: Construction would stop on state road projects, according to the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, although some traffic safety workers might remain.
Less clear is what happens to just-in-time delivery of bridge supports and other large materials that were ordered long ago and are set to be shipped early next week. Some worry that even a one-week delay in road construction will cause some projects to be unfinished when winter sets in, delaying completion until next spring.
The Mackinac Bridge would stay open, said Liz Boyd, the governor's press secretary.
HEALTH CARE: Many assume the state's psychiatric hospitals likely would remain open, but some other programs -- including nutrition and disease prevention education and health-related inspections -- could be scaled back or shut down.
Medicaid reimbursement payments to doctors and hospitals might be stopped, which could lead some health care providers to decline to see patients, at least in non-emergency situations. Home health care workers paid partly by the state could be off the job.
LIQUOR: The state would stop distribution of packaged liquor, which eventually could limit the supply available in stores across the state.
ENVIRONMENT: No workers would be available to issue air, water and other permits, potentially affecting the environment and hampering businesses who need permits to operate. Regulators might not be around to monitor pollution affecting rivers, lakes and streams.
AGRICULTURE: Inspections of food and dairy products, pesticide and fertilizer plants and a range of commodities would cease, agribusiness groups say. There also would be no one to inspect if gasoline and diesel pumps were accurate.
CAMPING, HUNTING AND FISHING: The state already has closed 20 of its 138 forest campgrounds because of the tight budget. A partial shutdown could close the rest, along with all 13,5000 campsites located at 71 state parks.
The season for hunting deer with bows is scheduled to start Monday, and outdoor groups expect it to occur. But there may be no conservation officers checking licenses or manning check stations. Up to 350,000 people bow hunt.
A shutdown could affect oversight of the state's six fish hatcheries, though the Michigan United Conservation Clubs says it's working on plans to possibly set up volunteer crews to run them.
Basically, to sum this up, distribution of cigarettes has ceased in Michigan as of about an hour ago, price may go up to 8 a pack and once they're gone, they're GONE. No regulation on price of gas. Same deal goes for booze as cigarettes. Tuition for next semester will increase dramatically if this continues for long, which means I may not go to school next semester. My wages at work may be cut eventually if it goes for too long. States cops are cut and they will bring in some military police to patrol(sh
I was at a restaurant with some friends tonight and we had a countdown to the end of the world. Anarchy in Michigan begins NOW! This is rediculous.
EDIT: Oh, and this also means no health department for a while.....so I definately wont be eating out for a good while.
So here's to living life miserable.
And here's to all the lonely stories that I've told.
Maybe drinking wine will validate my sorrow.
Every man needs a muse and mine could be the bottle.