In Michigan
5:16 pm
Tue September 29, 2009

MI budget countdown continues

LANSING, MI – Lawmakers are preparing for a marathon session to vote on big spending cuts for budgets. The deadline for a budget deal is midnight on Wednesday.

So far the Legislature is sticking to the Republican plan to balance the budget with cuts alone.

Democrats were able to pass a tax increase during the budget crisis in 2007. And Republican House Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer says he thinks there are closed-door discussions going on for new taxes to fund some programs this year as well.

"If that happened - as it did two years ago - I'm very very concerned that we'll wind up causing more problems than we solved, and really we won't do anything to solve the long-term structural defects that we have in the state," he says.

A House and Senate conference committee passed one of the most controversial budgets, which cut more than $70 million in funding for local governments. Many Democrats say that budget cuts too deep.