By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the so-called "Grand Bargain," which would save both the Detroit Institute of Arts and shore up the city’s pension funds enough to minimize the cuts.
Doing that would require hundreds of millions in funds from three sources:
- A coalition of private foundations
- supporters of the DIA itself
- state government
The first two pots of money, from museum backers and the foundations, have been raised or will be.
That leaves the state’s share, which has usually been put at $350 million. Gov. Rick Snyder is supporting this. He believes, correctly, that it makes sense for the entire state.
But his Republican colleagues who control the Legislature aren’t so sure.
Speaker of the House Jase Bolger says he won’t even consider letting this come up for a vote, unless the city unions are willing to kick in some money as well.
Bolger, who is from Marshall, clearly feels no connection to or love for Detroit, and less for unions.
It isn’t clear if the city’s battered unions even have that kind of cash. What is clear to Republicans, of course, is that every dollar the unions have to give up is one less dollar they can conceivably donate to political campaigns.