With Michigan lawmakers off on a two-week spring break and no consensus in sight on the state budget crisis, the rest of the state is merely left to wring our hands and worry.
Although it appeared legislators had begun budget work earlier in order to not yet again miss the Oct. 1 budget deadline, March has come and gone with no progress. The only results to come out of discussions have been petty bickering and a greater chasm between Democrats and Republicans. Meanwhile, our public schools - among other agencies - may once again have to create a budget speculating what cuts may or may not come.
There is no question that Michigan lawmakers have some excruciating decisions to make with a projected $1.7 billion deficit. But the decisions will not get any easier as the impending budget deadline looms overhead, and the welfare of the state will only get worse if threatened with another government shutdown.
Legislators must get their act together and start making compromises, as difficult as it may seem. Michigan will eventually pick itself back up, but governmental infighting and procrastination will only delay that recovery. Elected officials were voted into their position not to jockey for the next election or to make their way up the party ladder, but to do what's best for the state, and those lawmakers who prefer the latter will be rewarded in November.