Michigan Legislature begins passing final budget bills

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has begun passing $44.7 billion in proposed spending as it works to complete the next state budget.

Lawmakers on Tuesday are giving final approval to more spending bills, days after they passed the K-12 budget. Talks with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broke down weeks ago, and it’s uncertain to what extent she may veto some spending.

A sticking point is road funding.

Whitmer and Democrats oppose Republicans’ planned use of $400 million in one-time general funds in the transportation budget – a routine practice in recent years, but one they say is a Band-Aid approach that tightens other spending that already is being squeezed by a past road-funding deal.

Republicans say using existing revenues prevents the need for Whitmer’s proposed gas tax increase, which is dead.

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