budget

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Republican legislative leaders remain committed to closing the pension system to new teachers and instead giving them a 401(k) after getting mixed news about tax revenues.

Legislative fiscal agencies say school aid collections will be between $286 million and $364 million higher this fiscal year and next than was projected in January.

Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate is passing a budget that would spend or allocate $542 million less than what has been proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The $56 billion plan being approved Wednesday would spend $276 million less in general funds than Snyder proposed.

Republicans for now also are not adding about $266 million to savings as called for by the Republican governor.

GOP leaders are setting money aside to potentially cut taxes or address debt in the school employees' retirement system - issues that could become part of negotiations in coming weeks.

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Central Michigan University plans to cut 30 vacant staff positions and lay off about 24 staff members amid efforts to balance its budget.

The Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant reports the update comes as university administrators finalize a balanced fiscal year 2018 budget.

Barry Wilkes, the school's vice president of finance and administration, told faculty and staff in an email this week that there will be 4 percent, or $20 million, in total base budget reductions.

An all-campus budget forum was scheduled for Thursday.

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The Michigan Municipal League is hosting public forums talking about the state’s system for funding municipalities that it believes is broken. The MML says mayors have consolidated services saving taxpayer dollars but more needs to be done.

During its Save MI City stop in Grand Rapids, WGVU spoke with the Michigan Municipal League about the fallout from the Great Recession and how decreases in revenue sharing are impacting cities across the state.

Lake Michigan
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A group representing Great Lakes region mayors in the U.S. and Canada is sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the Great Lakes.

The Trump administration's potential cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative were reported by the Detroit Free Press last week.

They would slash annual funding for the $300 million program to $10 million.

The initiative combats invasive species, curbs nutrient-fueled algae blooms, cleans up toxic messes and restores sensitive fish and wildlife habitat.

Michigan Capitol Building
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A Republican-led House panel has voted to cut Michigan's income tax and eliminate it over a number of decades despite "serious concerns" lodged by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Supporters say the bill approved 7-4 Wednesday would fulfill a nearly decade-old promise to reduce the 4.25 percent tax to 3.9 percent after it was raised to balance the budget.

Opponents say the tax cut would cost the state $680 million next budget year and $1.1 billion in the first full year at a time general funds are tightening.

Michigan is boosting pay for nursing aides at a troubled state-run nursing home in Grand Rapids.

A legislative budget committee on Tuesday approved $1.8 million more to increase the wages of privately contracted aides at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

The money is included in a $174 million spending plan for the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for the fiscal year that will start in October.

school desks
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Michigan's next state budget will help reimburse schools across the state for the cost of testing for lead in the wake of Flint's water crisis.

A legislative budget committee on Tuesday approved spending $4.5 million, with a cap of $950 per school building.

The water testing is voluntary, but many schools have tested for lead after the Flint disaster exposed problems with aging pipes and plumbing fixtures.

The House-Senate panel also voted to continue reimbursing members of the state Board of Education for travel and per-diem expenses.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says he and Republican legislative leaders are close to brokering a budget agreement, with a "fairly short list" of issues left to be resolved.

The Republican governor left a closed-door meeting at the Capitol Tuesday morning and reported "good progress."

Snyder says the budget and talks about restructuring Detroit's ailing school district are "two separate issues."

The House and Senate are at odds over how much to spend on Detroit Public Schools and regulating charter schools in the city.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder's administration projects tax revenues are coming in lower than expected but not as low as what is estimated by legislative economists.

The Michigan Department of Treasury said Tuesday that general and school aid fund revenues will be $122 million less this fiscal year than projected in January. The funds are expected to dip $22 million below a previous estimate for the next budget year.

Snyder's numbers are more optimistic than House and Senate fiscal agency figures.

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