Little progress in state budget talks

LANSING, MI – There was little progress reported Thursday in state budget talks. Governor Granholm had a conference call with the Legislature's Republican and Democratic leaders.

Governor Granholm and legislative leaders continue to trade ideas, but have apparently not made any more decisions on how to retire a deficit of $1.8 billion in the state's General Fund, and almost a billion dollars in the School Aid Fund.

Senate GOP leaders say they've put forward a plan that uses steep cuts and federal stimulus funds to balance the budget without raising more money from tax increases.

The governor and Democrats in the Legislature have argued for fewer cuts - especially in college scholarships and aid to local governments.

The governor's reportedly offered up the options of increasing beer and tobacco taxes to raise some money, as well as eliminating some tax breaks. There are few details, however, because the governor and the leaders have agreed to keep the content of their discussions secret.