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Dear Whitmer, Legislature: Show us leadership

In politics, those on the sidelines like to distinguish between “winners” and “losers.”

Sometimes, though, there is neither.

Take Michigan budget talks, for instance.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP leaders announced they were going to work together to get a state budget approved before Oct. 1 — the start of a new fiscal year. Pundits were scrambling to determine if Whitmer “caved” to her legislative counterparts — Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield — by setting aside her desire to connect a road funding solution to any budget adoption. Whitmer said her decision was only to avoid a government shutdown.

If that was “caving,” then who cares? The more important takeaway was state residents would benefit by finally having a budget in place that would keep government operating and school officials would know what they could expect in funding for the months ahead.

That was Monday.

Come Wednesday, talks all broke down again. No one was happy. Fingers were pointed in all directions.

To which we say: Stop acting like children and hike up your britches. Put aside the hyperbole, roll up your sleeves, and hammer out an agreement.

Then, once a budget is negotiated, we call on Shirkey and Chatfield to follow through and find a workable and meaningful solution to the state’s road funding problem.

“The people of Michigan deserve leadership in Lansing that will work to continue providing them with services they depend on every day,” the three said in a joint statement Monday.

We agree. So, show us that leadership!

Separating the proposed gas tax from adoption of a budget was a realistic approach.

Now, let’s get on with getting the task before us done.

Adopt a budget. Fix the roads. Show us some leadership.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)