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State budget talks already underway in Lansing

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says budget negotiations for the coming fiscal year are already underway at the state Capitol. Richardville says he expects the budget to be done several months ahead of the constitutional deadline of October.

Last year the Legislature finalized a spending plan in June.

"Part of what we did this past summer is get together and say ‘what did we do well and what didn’t we do well.’ And you know, I think we pushed real hard in a way that isn’t sustainable over a long period of time. So instead we’re going to start the process a little earlier and start comparing notes and start some of those discussions earlier in the process,” Richardville said.

Richardville said he also expects the budget process to be smoother this year because Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature have adopted a planning budget for the coming fiscal year.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer said she hopes the GOP will rethink some of the cuts they approved in the budget last year.

"The cuts that my Republican colleagues have put on our higher education as well as our K-12 system, were penny-wise and pound-foolish. I’m hoping that we will open up that discussion,” Whitmer said.