Economically beleaguered Michigan faces a possible government shutdown - shuttering highway rest areas, state parks, construction projects and the state lottery - if lawmakers fail to reach a budget deal in the next few days.And Alabama is under 10% unionized. I wonder if there is a connection? Do you suppose that extracting unsustainable wages from employers is unsustainable? And it probably is not even the wages so much as inflexible work rules. After all high productivity is what really makes high wages possible.
The state with the nation's highest unemployment rate has a nearly $3 billion shortfall. Federal recovery act money will fill more than half the gap, but the spending cuts or tax increases needed to fill the rest have caused bitter infighting at the state Capitol.
Michigan is one of just two states whose budget year starts Oct. 1. The other, Alabama, already has a spending plan in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.