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Granholm: Budget talks "cordial" for a change

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network



The state Senate will not meet again until September seventh, but Governor Granholm says work on the state budget continues. And, as Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, she expects it to be done on time and without another government shutdown.

Closed door budget talks have been underway since the governor unveiled her newest budget offer last week. The initial reaction from Republican leaders was positive -- although state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he'd like to see more cuts to help retire budget deficits totaling almost 800 million dollars.

But at a stop in Ann Arbor, Governor Granholm said she's feeling good about the discussions.

"I really have a lot of high hopes," she says. "I feel better about this proposal than I have in years past where we've had a lot of acrimony. That hasn't been the case this time."

The governor's trying to round up votes for rolling back health and pension benefits for public employees. And she also wants to tap the School Aid Fund to pay for community colleges. She says the fund can afford it this year, but school lobbyists are pushing back and urging lawmakers to reject the plan.

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