LANSING, MI – The state Legislature worked until midnight Thursday night to pass the K-through-12 schools budget. The budget needed to be approved this week in order to avoid losing millions of dollars from the federal government, and to insure schools continue getting checks.
The schools budget cuts funding by $165 per student. That's a smaller cut than originally proposed, but it leaves a $100 million hole that needs to be filled with new revenue. The committee that oversaw the budget said they didn't want to eat up federal stimulus money set aside for next year's budget. The Senate released a proposal for new revenue that would limit movie industry tax credits and freeze the earned-income tax credit for one year.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says it's important to his fellow Republican senators to find revenue without raising taxes.
"It's not just a band-aid approach to some real structural problems in the state," Bishop says.
The Senate approved the income tax credit freeze, which would fill the K-through-12 budget gap. Bishop says he is confident it will pass through the House next week.