Senate agency projects budget will fall off "big cliff" without stimulus

EAST LANSING, MI – The state Senate Fiscal Agency says Michigan's budget deficit would be a billion dollars bigger without federal stimulus dollars. And that presents a problem for the state when that money is no longer available.

Gary Olson is director of the Senate Fiscal Agency. He says some stimulus money should be used to balance the budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which begins October 1. But he says it might also be a good idea to bank some of that money for later.

"Effectively spend some of that money in 2010-11 to help sort of eliminate a big cliff in the budget that's going to occur," he says.

Olson says legislative leaders have been working with these numbers in their closed-door budget discussions.