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5:14 pm
Fri October 2, 2009

MI budget deal hinges on K-12

LANSING, MI – The state Legislature gave itself one more month to finalize a budget deal. And much of the discussion in October is expected to hinge on the K-12 budget - the only budget the House and Senate did not approve.

Governor Granholm says she will pick and choose which budgets to veto. And she says lawmakers must start evaluating new revenue options to fund programs vital to the state.

Many lawmakers agreed the K-12 school budget could not be cut as deeply as proposed, or eliminate the early childhood education program. But the question remains how to fill those budgetary gaps.

State Representative Terry Brown chairs the conference committee that oversees the K-12 budget.

"Michigan's not a state that just reacts easily - "Oh yeah we'll just throw more money at it" - we don't want to do that, we want to be responsible," he said.

Brown says part of the solution will involve major reforms to the education system. And he says the Legislature may have to draw from federal stimulus dollars reserved for next year's budget to get through this year.