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Budget chief says deal is close on deficit plan

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI -- The Legislature returns to the state Capitol this week following a two-week spring break.

But legislative leaders and Governor Granholm's did not take a hiatus from budget negotiations.

Legislative leaders say K-12 schools and Medicaid are safe from budget cuts for the rest of this fiscal year.

But everything else is on the table as they try to wrestle down a $785 million deficit.

Robert Emerson is Governor Granholm's budget chief.

He says a deal is close that will likely require a mix of emergency stimulus assistance from the federal government, and big spending rollbacks.

Emerson says when those details are settled, the Granholm administration will give the Legislature 10 days notice that the budget cuts are on the way.

Then they have to go to work on next year's budget, and a projected deficit of more than $1.5 billion.

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