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Local officials call for restoring budget cuts

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – Local government officials are warning police officers and firefighters will be laid off if the state follows through with a double-digit cut in payments to cities and counties. A couple hundred of them marched Thursday on the state Capitol to protest the $145 million reduction in state aid to local governments.

Grand Rapids City Commissioner David LaGrand.

"They're like a bad drunk in a bar fight," he claims. "They respond to this and then they turn and respond to that. They need to have the courage to look 15 years into Michigan's future and decide what kind of state they want. They have to have the courage to have government and services for our citizens."

Governor Granholm and Democrats have called for paring back tax breaks, a new tobacco tax, and selling late-hour liquor licenses to pay for restoring cuts.

Republicans in the Legislature say the state needs to cut the size of government to set the stage for an economic recovery - even though that means difficult cuts to local governments and schools.

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