Michigan Gets Closer To Deciding New State Budget - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan Gets Closer To Deciding New State Budget

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - June 1 has come and gone without a state budget. No government shutdown from that, but it's always been a source of pride for the republican-dominated legislature to get it done by that day. Not so this year.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick looks into the hold up.

For the past three years, the governor and legislative leaders were quick to congratulate themselves for passing the new state budget before June 1, this year they missed the deadline without a peep.

“I’m not going to lose sleep over that. The product is still going to be alright and we’re still going to have it done three and a half months before the constitutional says we have to,” said Joe Haveman (r), House Budget Chair.

Key budget negotiators now have settled on what they call target numbers for each budget.

“We have an agreement and individual numbers presented to virtually everybody for the budgets that we’re doing,” said State Senator Roger Kahn, (r), Senate Budget Chair.

One of the agreements is to bump higher education spending at MSU and the other 14 universities by 5.9 percent. Backers of the bill hope that will help to keep tuition costs lower in the fall.

On the K-12 budget, that includes a $120 per pupil increase and the state school superintendent is reporting that the number of deficit schools is dropping.

“It’s gone from 52 to 45. I think that is a great trend and I hope it continues,” said Mike Flanagan, Michigan School Superintendent.

Between now and next week these conference committees will finalize their budgets, but disagreements still prevail.

For example on the public health budget the governor wants to direct more money into mental health services, but the republican chair of the committee has other priorities, including keeping rural hospitals open and “we want to make sure that women have access to OB services. In some places in Michigan you have to go up to two hours to see an OB doctor, said State Senator John Moolenar, (r), Public Health Budget Chair.

One of the biggest unresolved issues is how much money will be spent to fix the roads. Nobody knows.

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