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Democrats bicker over revenue to balance the budget


By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm floated a plan Tuesday that would use spending cuts and new taxes on vending machine sales, bottled water, and live entertainment to balance the budget. The plan was quickly torpedoed by the Democratic leader of the state House.


The clash brought into public view a feud between the Democratic governor and House Speaker Andy Dillon. Dillon chafed over the governor trying to corner Democrats into voting on a revenue package that he says cannot pass. He accused the governor of -quote- "theatrics" and "showboating."

The governor says it's time for lawmakers to start voting on budget options if the state is going to retire a $3 billion deficit, and avert a government shutdown at the end of the month.

"It has to be done before the deadline," Granholm says.

Republicans say this suggests a GOP plan to cut more than $1 billion without new taxes is the only realistic option. But there's no end to the stalemate in sight as Democrats say eliminating the Michigan Promise college scholarship, and big cuts to K-12 schools and local governments are not acceptable.

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