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Lansing decides city budget tonight

The Lansing city council is scheduled to vote on next year's city budget this evening.   Declining property values and rising health care costs are forcing deep spending cuts. 

 City leaders hope an estimated 4 million dollars in state revenue sharing will allow a reduction in the number of possible police and fire fighter layoffs.

Jerry Ambrose is Lansing's city finance director.    He says the Mayor's office is also seeking 3 million dollars in union contract concessions, mainly in health care coverage. 

“Our plan is to not start spending money we don’t have. We will have time to work with our unions to assess before we start spending that money.”

Ambrose says the city has until the end of June to work out the union concessions.  He expects the city will send out layoff notices to roughly a hundred Lansing city employees as they wait for the concessions deal.

Lansing is just one of many Michigan cities weighing deep cuts in spending versus deep cuts in services.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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