Newest Michigan state budget forecast not so bleak

The latest forecast for Michigan's state budget is not as bleak as some others have been recently.

The nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency estimated Wednesday that overall state revenue for schools could drop by about $215 million in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. That would be roughly a 2% drop from revenue estimated for the current fiscal year.

Revenue in the state's general fund could rise by about $44 million, or less than 1%, compared with the current fiscal year.

State economists will meet next week to come up with a consensus estimate. The Senate Fiscal Agency projects a combined $1.8 billion shortfall for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

House analysts say unemployment in Michigan could average about 15% this year, up from the November rate of 14.7%.