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Tue September 29, 2009
MI budget countdown continues
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
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.