The Michigan Senate will decide the fate of the Detroit rescue package

May 27, 2014

Inside the Michigan Senate.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The $195 million Detroit rescue package moves to the Michigan Senate this week after easily clearing the state House by wide margins.

Gov. Rick Snyder is hoping for speedy action to get the deal wrapped up no later than early June.

“I would remind people our work is not done,” Snyder said. “I’d like to thank the House for their wonderful work, but we still have work to get done in the Senate. Hopefully, we can get that done in a prompt fashion, but this is a great opportunity to move Michigan ahead.”

The governor wants the state to commit money to the bankruptcy settlement as part of the so-called “grand bargain.”

It would ensure pensioners don’t suffer larger cuts to their benefits and that city-owned works of art aren’t auctioned off.

Foundations, some unions, and the Detroit Institute of Arts have also promised money.

Snyder says he wants to respect the Senate on how they want to handle the matter.

“One thing that might be important for them to look at is the margins that this passed (the House) with, to say that there’s very strong support with it.”

Snyder is being careful not to prod too forcefully. Last summer, he jeopardized his Medicaid expansion proposal when he blasted the state Senate for taking a summer recess without voting on the legislation. He appears determined not to repeat that mistake.

Senate hearings are expected to begin next week, but the bankruptcy will be a big topic of discussion as the state’s political and business leaders converge on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Regional Chamber conference.