Gov. Jennifer Granholm plans to lay out a revised spending plan for lawmakers Wednesday.
The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency estimated in early July that Michigan had a $300 million deficit for the current fiscal year, although the amount may have dropped.
The state also faces a deficit in the budget year that starts Oct. 1, even though the state is in line to get about $698 million more federal dollars for public schools and Medicaid.
The Democratic governor said Tuesday she wants lawmakers to finish up next year’s budget soon. She already has signed a school spending bill into law, but deep differences remain between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House over what the rest of the budget should look like.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop has said he doesn’t to use any federal money to reduce the budget deficit.
Republican State Representative Tom McMillin Tuesday echoed that call saying the money should be sent back to citizens.
“I know many of my colleagues in Lansing want to just breathe a big sigh and kick the can down the road by using the additional federal money for one-time hole plugging,” McMillin said in a statement. “However, the $353 million non-education state bailout, or rather Cadillac benefit bailout, should be used to reduce the state personal income tax rate so parents who feel guilty about laying more debt on their kids can use the money to go buy bonds for their kids to use when the debt comes due. Then let’s start making real spending reforms in Lansing that keep getting put off.”
© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to his report.