Legislative leaders to continue budget talks

LANSING, MI – Budget talks at the state Capitol are proceeding slowly. Republican and Democratic leaders will meet again this week in an effort to move the process forward.

It's appearing less and less likely the Legislature and Governor Granholm will meet a self-imposed deadline of early July to wrap up work on a spending plan for the coming fiscal year, and lay to rest a deficit pegged at $1.6 billion.

Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon would like tax reform to be part of the discussions, perhaps moving from a flat rate to a graduated income tax. Dillon says he'd like to stabilize revenues.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he won't agree to anything that's a net increase in taxes. Bishop says he wants to cut more than $1 billion out of Michigan's $8.5 billion budget. But he has not outlined where those cuts would be.