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Mon August 3, 2009
Fiscal year: two months and counting
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state Legislature has been quiet for the past month as leading state lawmakers meet behind closed doors to set targets in budget negotiations.
Legislative leaders met in private through much of July to discuss how to fill a $1.8 billion hole in the budget for the coming fiscal year. They say they're getting closer to reaching consensus.
Meanwhile, other lawmakers debate how to generate revenue for the future. On the table for discussion is whether or not to put a sales tax on soda pop, and how to tighten tax credits.
State Representative Dave Hildenbrand is on the House Appropriations Committee.
Hildenbrand says, "There's still a lot of work to be done besides sitting here voting. There's a lot of private meetings going on to help solve the problem, so we're also doing a lot of other things to help people too - not just passing bills."
Legislators have about two months to sort out their budget disputes before the end of the fiscal year.