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Thu September 3, 2009
Budget talks continue another day
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Legislature met for most of the day to try and come closer to a budget deal. They are trying to retire an almost $3 billion deficit, which represents almost 15% of the budget.
The governor and the legislative leaders met first with business leaders, who told the group that employers are getting nervous because there's still no budget with the new fiscal year less than a month away. They say the delay is tarnishing the state's reputation as a good place to do business.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says much of the delay is related to the debate over raising more revenue to avert big cuts to local governments, K-12 schools, and college scholarships.
Bishop says Democrats need to make public their ideas on raising revenue, and then seeing if they can muster the votes needed to enact them.
"They need to stick their neck out and put their votes out there so we can see what's viable and what's not," he said.
Governor Granholm says she's ready to negotiate every day until the leadership forges a budget deal.