Winners and losers

Seniors, poor, children pay for huge tax break for business

Gov. Rick Snyder's massive tax plan -- an unprecedented tax shift that hurts seniors, the poor, and children while giving a big break for businesses -- passed the Legislature today despite strong public opposition.

The plan taxes senior pensions, cuts subsidies for the working poor, and eliminates taxes for an estimated 95,000 businesses even as public schools brace for massive state funding cuts.

Said Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit: "This is ridiculous. I can't believe we actually did this."

In a statement, Zack Pohl, spokesman for the We Are the People coalition, which includes MEA, said: "Michigan seniors and working families just got stuck with the bill for a huge corporate tax giveaway that even leading Republicans say has 'no guarantee' of creating more jobs. Instead of attacking vulnerable seniors and working families, it's time for Gov. Snyder and Lansing politicians to start standing up for the middle class, start creating jobs, and get the economy moving again."

Also today:

The Senate did not vote on Senate Bill 7 to require employees to pay at least 20 percent of the cost of their health plan. The bill could be taken up as early as Tuesday -- please contact your senator and ask him/her to vote NO on Senate Bill 7.

The state House did not vote on House Bill 4306 to require school districts to solicit private companies for bids for certain services. The bill could be taken up as early as Tuesday -- please contact your representative ask him to vote NO on House Bill 4306.

State budget bills were sent to conference committee, where legislators from the House and Senate will work out differences between the chambers' competing plans.

House Democrats introduced a plan to restore $760 million in school aid funding by using a surplus in state revenue to ensure that Michigan students have the resources they need to prepare for the jobs of the 21st century.