Legislature returns from summer break

LANSING, MI – Lawmaker are back at the state Capitol after the Legislature ended its two-week summer break.

AUDIO: "The House will come to order."

Lawmakers returned to the news that the state's budget troubles are growing worse. The economy's struggling and tax collections are failing to meet projections. That means another $120-million just got piled onto a budget shortfall already pegged at $1.8 billion.

State Representative Alma Wheeler Smiths is a Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

"Our revenues are not yet stable, and until they are, we'll be looking at ups and downs," she says.

Smith says whatever the Legislature adopts will have to be adjusted in the coming fiscal year. Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating major details, including the size of budget cuts, as the new fiscal year edges closer.