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MI House Dems to prepare answer to GOP reforms

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network



State House Democrats are expected to go on a retreat next weekend to sort out their legislative priorities for the coming year. House Speaker Andy Dillon says they will come up with a plan to answer Senate-Republican proposals to save taxpayers' money.

Lawmakers throughout the Capitol have been preaching the need for comprehensive tax reform in the state. One Democratic plan from the House would be to expand the sales tax to services at a reduced rate.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says the G-O-P would be obligated to at least consider that plan or any other that the House sends over. But House Speaker Andy Dillon says he's learned not to take that as a promise.

"Yes, it sounds familiar. And it's not a deal," he comments.

Dillon says Bishop reneged on a deal to seriously consider new revenue during budget negotiations last year.

There is one reform that both Parties appear to agree on - the elimination of lifetime health benefits for lawmakers. But Republicans say it should only apply to new and incoming lawmakers, while Democrats say that change should begin with those currently serving.

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