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Lawmakers, interest groups prepare for budget details

Lansing in fall- Michigan State Capitol
Jake Neher
/
Michigan Public Radio Network

Michigan lawmakers are expected to rapidly advance a new state budget when they reconvene for session Tuesday.

Relatively few details have come out about the contents of the bipartisan spending plan announced late last week.

Alex Rossman is external affairs director for the Michigan League for Public Policy. He said he’s expecting few surprises in this bipartisan spending agreement.

“We have been hearing throughout the budget process that the expectation is that there are not going to be a lot of big investment increases or program expansions in this particular budget,” Rossman said.

He said the expectation is that lawmakers will hash out how to spend a few billion dollars in federal coronavirus relief aid in the coming months. That’s likely when many of the more ambitious spending priorities will come up.

For now, the governor and leadership in the legislature have been keeping details on their budget agreement relatively tight.

“Honestly I think it’s a little bit of the nature of the beast and incorporating some of the lessons learned over the rough budget cycles we’ve had in the past that the bigger the table of negotiators, the more difficult it is to find consensus,” Rossman said.

The budget will cover areas like state departments and agencies, as well as public universities.

Lawmakers came together earlier this year to approve spending for public K-12 schools.