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Wed May 13, 2009
Groups protest MI budget cuts
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN)
People opposed to the hundreds of millions of dollars in state budget cuts were at the state Capitol Wednesday. It's a near-daily occurrence since Governor Granholm's cuts were unveiled last week, and approved by legislative committees.
Advocates for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and law enforcement are all trying to make their case that there are better options than cutting their budgets.
Howell Police Chief George Basor says cuts to early childhood programs and local governments will hurt public safety in the coming months and year: "We're down nearly 1,900 police officers here in the state of Michigan, and with the governor's new executive order, those numbers are going to go down further, and we don't even have account yet on what the cost of that is going to be. At the same time, we're cutting prevention money on the front end, so I think the question for the Legislature is what type of Michigan are we looking to build going into the future."
Governor Granholm's spokeswoman says the state has a billion-dollar deficit it needs to retire for this year. Liz Boyd says that required painful decisions.