2012 state budget talks underway


State budget discussions are already underway at the state Capitol. Republican leaders say they began budget talks a few months ago for the coming fiscal year.

Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders say they have a head start because they adopted a second-year spending plan as part of last year's budget deal.

Republican state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he expects budget negotiations to go more smoothly than last year, even though the Legislature approved a spending plan several months before the constitutional deadline.

"We had to scramble a bit to get things done on time," Richardville says. "We want to have a little more time and a little less time pressure."

Richardville says that means not waiting on Governor Rick Snyder to unveil his budget proposals in February.

Democratic leaders say they hope Republican lawmakers will reconsider deep cuts made to K-through-12 and higher education in recent years.