I watched the State of the State address on TV this year. Following it, when the legislators were interviewed by the news media, I heard the same story from all Republican legislators.
“We finally solved Michigan’s problems,” they said over and over again. “Our budget problems have been resolved.”
It didn’t ring true to me. I knew the situation too well to think they just waved a magic wand and funding magically appeared.
The real truth about what they did is slowly emerging.
We have known for a while now that our schools are in a desperate situation, but now it’s the Veteran’s Home in Grand Rapids, too.
To save money our legislature privatized its staff. Out with the highly-qualified, well-trained union workers and in with barely-trained $10-an-hour staff. These Vets, the ones that risked their lives for us, are fragile; they need excellent care. With the advent of the privatized workers, a few of our Vets were handled incorrectly, including one who ended up with a broken neck.
This is what they mean by solving the budget problem? Get rid of good solid care for our Vets and replace it with cheap care. Shameful. The case ended up in court, which put the highly-qualified union workers back on the job, while the case works its way through the legal system.
And because our legislature only appropriated enough for the cheap workers, there is not enough money to keep all four floors of the Vet’s home open. The fourth floor is now closed. Vets have now been cleared out of their safe home, having to find new places to be housed.
Thank you Governor Snyder and the Republican legislature. What else did you do to save money at the expense of those you represent?