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Tue December 8, 2009
Dillon: Scholarships, local funding cuts won't be restored this year
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI –
State House Speaker Andy Dillon says he does not expect there will be a deal to restore funding for college scholarships, health care, or local governments, before the Legislature begins its winter break.
Dillon says negotiations on restoring the Michigan Promise scholarship, and cuts to Medicaid and revenue sharing will carry into 2010. The Democratic speaker says he's hanging onto a small hope of ending an impasse yet this year with the Republican-controlled Senate on restoring some cuts to K-12 schools. He says districts will be making decisions on layoffs and school closings over the winter break if that doesn't happen.
"Once they close those schools, and let's say we find the money in January or February, I don't think they're going to run out and re-open those schools in March," he says.
Nevertheless, Dillon pegs the odds of restoring money for schools at less than 50-50.
A new reduction in school aid payments will be programmed into state computers this week, although the state could make up for that loss in January.