In Michigan
9:57 am
Wed June 17, 2009

Senate Appropriations Committee approves budget cuts

LANSING, MI – State Senators approved sweeping budget cuts Wednesday in Lansing.

AUDIO:

The state Senate Appropriations Committee spent the day cutting big numbers out of the budget for the coming fiscal year. Almost 150 (m) million dollars was carved out of higher education spending. Much of that came from financial aid for students attending public and private universities.

Higher education lobbyist Ed Blews says the cuts are troubling as the state tries to get more people to graduate from colleges and universities.

Blews says, "We're hopeful and we're even optimistic that at the end of the day the legislature will do the right thing and that it will provide the financial aid for the students to be able to go to college."

But Senate Republican leaders say the money is not there to fund a lot of worthwhile programs.

The Senate budget panel also cut funds for mental health drugs, and is poised to cut spending on K-12 schools.