Analysis: Protests in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana

Feb 23, 2011

Protesters headed to Lansing yesterday to voice their displeasure with the budget cuts in Governor Snyder's budget proposal.  People were also there yesterday in support of the cuts.

Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry discussed the protests on Michigan Radio this morning.

Most of the protesters are people who are concerned they are going to lose their state jobs or benefits. They are concerned about the impact of cuts on themselves and things they care about. There were a smaller group of protesters who want the Governor to do as the Governor in Wisconsin is to try to end collective bargaining but by Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana standards the protests here were relatively mild.

In those states especially Wisconsin the governor is out to break the power of collective bargaining. Rick Snyder has made it clear he's not interested in that, he's looking for dialog not confrontation. And also people in Michigan have been conditioned for a long time that the state is really in trouble. People know there's budget trouble, that the state is in a rock bottom position as far as economics are concerned. This has taken people in these other states a little bit more by surprise.

Lessenberry says that protests like these are watched by members of the legislature, but they don't necessarily change how they plan to do their jobs.