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3:38 pm
Tue September 15, 2009

MI House and Senate are close to joint targets

LANSING, MI – Michigan's legislative leaders say they are close to an agreement on $1.2 billion in budget cuts. That is the amount of spending rollbacks the state Senate proposed earlier this summer.

But House Speaker Andy Dillon says the Democrats still want more spending than Republicans for K-12 schools, higher education and the Michigan Promise college scholarship.

"What we're saying is we're prepared to make and move very difficult budgets," he says. "But those areas of priority that I've identified, I need some comfort that I'm going to protect the values of the Democratic House and the governor."

House Appropriations Chairman George Cushingberry says the House could pass the Senate's proposed number for budget cuts, but not without voting for new revenue as well. Cushingberry says there are enough Republican Senators ready and willing to vote for some form of tax hike.