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Human service groups blast budget cuts

By Mark Bashore, WKAR News

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan's infant mortality rate and foster care population will go up if proposed state budget cuts to human services are passed. That's the view of advocacy groups who gathered Wednesday at the State Capitol.

Some are calling for an increase in the state beer tax to address the issue. Jack Kresnak is President of the group "Michigan's Children." He says a 5-cent hike on beer would raise $111-million:

"That 111 million becomes 300-million or 400-million when you add in the federal dollars that come into play," he says. "Those are real jobs. People doing real work to help real children in the state of Michigan. We need those jobs here, and we have to invest a little bit to get a lot more return."

Republican State Senator Roger Kahn says job creation is the key to maintaining services. He says significant tax increases could hamper that effort. State legislators and the Granholm administration face a projected budget deficit of $1.8 billion in the next fiscal year.

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