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Tue September 22, 2009
House, Senate hope to have agreement on most of the budget today
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – Michigan lawmakers are negotiating toward a budget deal with the deadline now eight days away. Legislative leaders say they hope to have agreements on most of the 15 bills that make up the budget by the end of today.
House and Senate conference committees are negotiating details of spending plans that will have to be voted up or down later this week.
Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon made a controversial arrangement with the Senate Republican to try and find $1.2 billion in cuts before discussing new taxes or other ways of raising revenue to balance the budget.
"I think the public and taxpayers want to see us get here without revenues and try to make tough cuts, so that's what I've charged our committees to do," Dillon says. "Are we going to get there? Well, we'll know at 5 o'clock today."
Dillon says Democrats remain committed to funding Medicaid, revenue sharing, K-12 schools, early childhood programs and the Michigan Promise college scholarship. Governor Granholm has hinted she might veto a budget that cuts too deeply.