By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state Senate on Wednesday voted to change the Legislature's rules to speed up the budget process. Senate lawmakers say a new rule should require the House and the Senate to adopt budget plans by June 1.
State Senator Alan Cropsey says budget negotiations should not have gone down to the wire in two of the last three years.
"The House has to pass its balanced budget," he says. "The Senate has to pass its balanced budget, and it needs to be done by June first, so everybody knows the cards that are on the table, and what we're going to be doing at that point or having a good idea."
Cropsey says the budget impasse in Lansing is forcing an unfair hardship on local school districts, local governments, universities, and community colleges. That's because they have fiscal years that begin July 1 instead of October 1.
The state House would also have to adopt the rule for it to take effect. The House leader says it will be considered once the current budget crisis is passed.