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Thu September 17, 2009
Legislative leaders make plans for temporary budget
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Budget negotiations continued for another day at the state Capitol. Lawmakers are starting to make fallback plans in case there's no deal before the deadline that's less than two weeks away.
The budget talks are focused at the moment on whether Democrats in the state House can find more than a billion dollars in spending cuts. The discussions can then return to revenue options to rescue the Michigan Promise college scholarships, and money for pre-school, K-12 schools, Medicaid and local governments.
There's no guarantee Governor Granholm and the Legislature can wrap all that up before the October 1 deadline. So, House and Senate leaders have agreed to have a measure ready to enact a one-month budget that would continue spending at current levels, and avert a shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.
"It's simply an option, and one we don't intend to go to except for a worst-case scenario," he said.
Bishop says having a contingency plan does not lift the pressure to finish the budget before October 1.