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密歇根新闻广播(MP3+文本):共和党将目标瞄准教师退休金改革

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优乐娱乐参考文本(文本与音频不全一致,敬请谅解):There's a face off between Governor Rick Snyder and Republican leaders over an issue that's not even at the top of anyone's to-do list.

The state Legislature is working away on the state budget and Republicans have been cutting Snyder's budget proposal. They're squirreling away money but they haven't decided what to do with it yet.

The top contender right now is teacher retirement benefits.

"This is now my top priority and it is now the Senate majority leader's top priority," Speaker of the House Tom Leonard told reporters in Lansing. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said, "we think there's an opportunity to solve one of the nagging problems of growing debt for the state and this may be one of those opportunities."
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So, the two Republican leaders agree. But the question is: why this issue of teacher retirement benefits?

And, why now?

Voters certainly aren't clamoring for it. Sure, there's a segment of the GOP base that doesn't mind taking a swipe at teachers' unions. But this issue of overhauling teacher retirement really just appeals to a business-minded subset of the Republican donor class. They figure their businesses have converted to 401ks, so the state should do the same. But even that group isn't shouting, ‘do it now.'

And agreement that this is a problem that needs to be fixed is not universal. Our CPA governor certainly isn't on board. Snyder already engineered an overhaul of the teacher retirement system and a plan to pay down the debt over 30 years. This plan is Snyder's CPA masterpiece on a spreadsheet.

And we don't know yet how many Republican lawmakers are on board.

Some of them are certainly eyeballing the money that's squirrelled away - more than a quarter of a billion dollars - and thinking they'd like a better story to go home and tell their constituents than tinkering with teacher pensions. Like, possibly, money for roads and infrastructure. Or some form of a tax cut or rebate.

So, the question again: why are Speaker Leonard and Majority Leader Meekhof pushing this now?

Well, first: it's convenient. It may not be anyone's top priority but, it's on an eventual to-do list for many Republicans.

And second, Leonard needs a win to show his leadership skills after his idea to roll back the state income tax crashed and burned in the first big House vote of the session earlier this year.

So, it's basically timing.

But this isn't across the finish line. This is still just at the idea stage.

Meekhof and Leonard not only have to sell the governor on their idea. They also have to convince their Republican caucuses this is the best use of their political pot of gold.
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haven ['heivn]
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n. 港口,避难所,安息所 v. 安置 ... 于港中,
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segment ['segmənt]
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n. 部份,瓣,弓形
vt. 分割
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budget ['bʌdʒit]
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n. 预算
vt. 编预算,为 ... 做预算
 
priority [prai'ɔriti]
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n. 优先权,优先顺序,优先
 
donor ['dəunə]
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n. 捐赠人
[计算机] 施主
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convenient [kən'vi:njənt]
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adj. 方便的,便利的
 
issue ['iʃju:]
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n. 发行物,期刊号,争论点
vi. & vt
 
figure ['figə]
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n. 图形,数字,形状; 人物,外形,体型
v
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overhaul [.əuvə'hɔ:l]
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vt. 仔细检查,翻修,赶上 n. 彻底检查,全面检修
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convince [kən'vins]
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vt. 使确信,使信服,说服
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