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Wed September 30, 2009
BUDGET UPDATE (5:00 pm) K-12 budget locks legislators in
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state Legislature is heading into the final hours of the fiscal year, and no budget deal has been reached. Both the House and the Senate have passed many targeted budgets. But as Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, a few budgets are keeping the Legislature in a holding pattern.
The door of the state House of Representatives has been locked - keeping the lawmakers inside the chamber to hash out budget disputes. But the Democratic-controlled House is fiercely divided on how and where to make cuts to the K-12 school budget, and the action on the floor has come to a standstill.
House Appropriations Chairman George Cushingberry.
"We can continue to delay," he said. "We can continue to put our heads in the sand and act like we don't have a serious financial problem with schools."
But, Cushingberry says, if they don't make the cuts today, there will be larger mandatory cuts down the road.
The House is also divided over the budget dealing with local government revenue sharing. But both the House and Senate have approved the higher education budget, which eliminates the Michigan Promise college scholarship.
There is a plan in place to continue spending after midnight to avoid a government shutdown, if necessary.