By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm is to meet again Friday with legislative leaders to talk about the budget. The deadline for completing the budget or risking a state government shutdown is three weeks away.
The governor says the next step is for her fellow Democrats in the state House to vote on a budget-balancing plan, and then to compare it to her plan and to the plan approved by Senate Republicans. She says there are still significant differences, but there's no reason for a government shutdown at the end of the month, or for a temporary budget that continues current spending.
"There's a reason why there's a beginning of the fiscal year. It's a deadline that we should meet, and we can meet if everybody puts their plan on the table and we negotiate non-stop until we get it done," Granholm says.
But a budget deal is already late for local governments, school districts, universities, and community colleges. They have been operating since July first - the start of their fiscal years - without knowing how much financial support to expect from the state.