LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan House has passed a $33 billion budget bill that covers state spending for everything except education.
Lawmakers were deeply divided, Wednesday, on the measure, which closes prisons, drops 12,600 families from welfare and cuts senior services.
The budget largely reflects GOP Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed plan to slash business taxes and close a $1.4 billion shortfall by raising taxes on individuals, cutting spending and requiring concessions from state workers.
“If you’re part of the social safety net crowd, there’s plenty in this budget not to like. But if you’re part of the Rick Snyder coalition that thinks Michigan’s government needs to be reinvented by cutting services, you’re going to be applauding the House action,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.
“Let’s put this in perspective… This is one House action on half of the budget. This Michigan Senate is still working on its half,” he added.
Skubick said the House has not voted yet on the school aid budget because the Governor and Republican leadership are having trouble lining up Republicans who want to cut education by $470 per-pupil.
Minority Democrats say the budget wrongly cuts money for senior programs such as Meals on Wheels, could lead to prison overcrowding, and would force communities to lay off police and firefighters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.