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GOP leader says prospects for shutdown growing

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – The state House Republican leader says the odds of a state government shutdown increase dramatically each week there's not a budget deal in Lansing. The deadline for wrapping up the budget is September 30.

Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer says the budget plan just made public by Governor Granholm this week represents progress. But he says Republicans still think it relies too heavily on tax hikes and stimulus funds that add to the federal deficit.

"The budget that's been produced by the governor and now shared with the public is not so much a tax-and-spend proposal, it's a tax-borrow-and-spend proposal," he says. "It borrows from our future to pay the current bills, and does not resolve our long term fiscal problems."

Elsenheimer says some lawmakers have begun discussing plans for a temporary budget that simply continues spending at its current rate if there's no agreement by the end of the month.

House Speaker Andy Dillon says he expects budget votes to begin next week, whether or not there's a deal with Republicans and the governor.

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