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Will the history books record the recent bipartisan action in Lansing?

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Historians may have to sort this out years down the road, but for whatever reason, the divided Michigan legislature and the GOP governor have hit a smooth patch of bi-partisanship not witnessed in recent years.

First there was the impressive array of Republicans and Democrats who joined hands to help Detroit retirees by passing the so-called Grand Bargain.  It would ship $195 million dollars to the bankrupt city.  As the votes went up, one observer whispered, “unbelievable.”  Unbelievable because this puppy was ripe for political exploitation during an election year, but most lawmakers rose above it to help the city not bash it.

Next, in less than twelve hours the same across the aisle cooperation resulted in a sizable boost in the state’s minimum wage.  Early in the day, there were not enough votes to raise the state flag, but by days end and after an extremely constructive meeting of the governor and the two GOP and two Democratic leaders, presto-change-o, the measure was adopted.

To be sure the House Republicans were motivated in large part because they didn't’t want this on the ballot when they run for re-election in November, but the Democrats don’t care; they got what they wanted for their workers now earning $7.40 and hour.  They’ll eventually get $9.25 by 2018.

Which brings us to what could be a record-breaking week beginning in the Michigan Senate.  Will the new spirit prevail?

The Grand Bargain is in that body where L. Brooks Patterson has called it the “Grand Shaft” because it does not protect his taxpayers in Oakland County. The governor made a head fate at reassuring those folks and those in Macomb County that they will actually save money.

 “The numbers are a stretch,” Mr. Patterson offered while leaving the door open to negotiations with his pal the governor.

Macomb County executive Mark Hackel noted it was not his job to worry about “blowing-up” the governor’s Detroit aid package.  His responsibility was to his taxpayers, too.

And after the senate weeds its way through that thicket, it may tackle the $1.5 billion for the road fix.

If at the end of the week when we meet here again, and all that stuff is done on a bi-partisan basis, this will have been, right before your very eyes, a truly historic week in this little state’s history.

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