MI Senate Approps discusses federal stimulus

The state Senate Appropriations Committee met Wednesday to discuss what's left of federal stimulus money.

Michigan has received about $7 billion in federal stimulus money. More than half of that has been used to balance the state budget. But a large chunk of stimulus dollars went toward programs that came with many federal strings attached. Republicans in the state Senate have been vocal about wanting Congress to loosen those restrictions.

Gary Olson is the Senate's chief financial expert. He says following the restrictions was vital to get the money.

"Yes, all of those conditions are really important," he says. "Whether all those conditions will apply if there's a second round of federal aid to the states - at this point, it's too early to tell."

Congressional leaders are negotiating a potential second round of federal funds. Olson thinks Michigan will receive more aid, but some budget decisions will be stalled until there is more information.