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Thu June 25, 2009
State Legislature expected to work late on budget
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state Legislature is expected to work into Thursday night to move budget discussions forward before the House and Senate break for two weeks.
Legislative leaders set a goal of July to reach consensus on budget discussions. That won't happen. The House and Senate are working to meet in conference committees during the break, which begins next week. Budget disputes include cuts to K-12 schools, Medicaid and financial aid, as well as the elimination of Michigan Promise college scholarships.
State House Minority Floor Leader Dave Hildenbrand says "We have a constitutional responsibility to balance the budget. We can't borrow from the residents of Michigan to balance our budget, so we're forced to make those tough decisions and tough choices right now."
The state faces a budget deficit of $1.7 billion for the coming fiscal year.