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Senate to meet and decide whether to adopt K-12 budget

Carlos Osorio

The state Senate is due back in Lansing Wednesday. There are three budget bills on the agenda as schools and local governments are about to begin their fiscal years still not knowing what to expect in state payments.

Schools and local governments have to have their budgets finalized by July 1st while – officially – the state can take another three months.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland) told the Lansing-based Gongwer News Service he expects the K-12 portion of the budget adopted this week.

“I expect we will return the K-12 budget to the House,” he said. The House adopted budget bills last week.

What’s not clear is whether the Senate will amend the bills. The distinction is important because amendments would further drag out the process into the summer versus simply sending the bills to Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Negotiations between the Legislature’s GOP majorities, Democrats and Governor Whitmer have now pressed very close to the July 1 deadline for schools and local governments.

“Schools are planning for the next year, municipalities are. Their budgets are due,” Whitmer said Wednesday at an event in East Lansing. “This is when the budget’s due. It’s still very possible they could meet the timeline and I hope that they do.”

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.