Speaker Dillon says 2009-2010 budget deal close

LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon says legislative leaders are close to reaching a budget deal in closed-door negotiations with Governor Granholm.

Dillon says the leaders are close to agreement on the budget for the coming fiscal year. But he says they want to reach a two-year deal, and that's where they are finding more disagreements over where to cut programs and spend federal stimulus money.

"The stimulus money isn't robust enough to get us through two years, so it creates a significant hole and how do we tackle that challenge?" he asks.

Republican leaders from the Senate have maintained a plan for deep cuts to programs without raising taxes to balance the budget. But Dillon says it's important to Democrats to keep funding for the Michigan Promise college scholarship, and he isn't ruling out a tax hike in the final budget deal.