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Experts to take first step in budget process

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – The state treasurer and legislative budget experts will huddle today to come up with an estimate on how much money the state will have to spend and how much it will have to cut in 2010.

State Treasurer Robert Kleine and House and Senate budget officials will listen to presentations on the state of the auto industry, expected job losses, and the timing of an economic recovery for Michigan and the nation.

It's expected the news won't be quite so dire as it was in 2009, when the Detroit car companies were laying off workers by the thousands, and General Motors and Chrsyler declared bankruptcy. But continued job losses are expected to hurt the state's revenue picture, especially school funding.

Governor Granholm will use these numbers to finalize the budget proposal she will present next month. The governor hopes the federal government will help states out with money to avert teacher and police and fire layoffs. But she says it would be a mistake to count on new funds from Washington while making plans to balance the budget.

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