UPDATE: (10 p.m.) – The House has voted 55-53 on a package to restructure the Detroit Public Schools and pay off $617 million in debt.
LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – House Republicans are trying to pass a rescue package for the Detroit Public Schools, but they will apparently have to do it without Democratic support.
“This entire House Republican plan flies in the face of common sense,” claimed Democrat Rep. Tim Greimel.
The House Republicans started the day without enough votes to pass a plan that includes an extra $150 million to operate the Detroit Schools through next October.
This suburban Republican however was not going to vote yes until he knows where the money is going.
Detroit-area Republican Rep. Peter Lucido was not going to vote yes until he knows where the money is going. ”
“If you don’t give me an itemization of where the money is going to go, who in the heck knows where it’s going to go,” said State Rep. Peter Lucido (R), Macomb County.
Reporter: “So you think it might be wasted?”
State Rep. Lucido: “It may be.”
Democrats complain the $617 million in the Republican plan is not enough to operate the schools through the fall.
“There’s plenty of money in there for that I mean we’re talking about $150 million, this is 4150 richer than we were two weeks ago. I say enough is enough so let’s make the deal and let DPS give them the opportunity for the future,” said State Rep. Al Pscholka.
Reporter: “They say they need $200 million.”
State Rep. Al Pscholka: “Ah sorry. $150 million, bank’s closed.”
“Judge Rhodes said it’s not even close to enough,” said State Rep. Greimel.
Reporter: “$800 million?”
State Rep. Greimel: “That’s what he has said.”
Reporter: “And Mr. Pscholka said the bank is closed at $617.”
State Rep. Greimel: “Well again it goes back to this House Republican approach of it’s throwing money at the problem without doing what’s necessary to get Detroit Public School District back on track,”
The Republicans say they are not loaning the money to Detroit as Democrats have charged and they are allowing Detroit citizens to pick a new school board this year.
However, this Democrat on the right is telling Republicans the Detroit delegation in the legislature want to keep the current school board.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to change up and elect a new board to replace our current board they didn’t create this crisis,” said State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D), Detroit.
It appears lots of Republicans were willing to vote for $467 million to eliminate the DPS debt.
“We’re responsible for that debt, it was under a state emergency manager that it was accumulated, we need to pay the debt,” said State Rep. Mike McCready (R), Oakland County.
But as the day wore on, the search for enough votes, did not materialize leaving the issue still up in the air.