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Whitmer, GOP leaders agree to school cuts as part of budget rescue

The U.S. Capitol
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A federal government shutdown looms as leaders in Congress disagree on budget cuts.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican leaders say they’ve reached a deal to bridge a $2.2 billion budget deficit in the current fiscal year. The revenue loss is due to the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.             

The deal bridges most of the shortfall with only three months left in the current fiscal year. It calls for a freeze on new hiring and staff promotions. The state will also pull $350 million from its Budget Stabilization Fund. This would be the first time in six years the state’s raided the fund informally dubbed the “rainy day” savings account.

Also, there would be cuts to K-through-12 school, community colleges, and public universities. Much of those cuts would be backfilled by federal money that comes from the CARES Act – with the hope for more federal aid in the future.

The next step would be for the Legislature to adopt and send a new budget to Governor Whitmer, and then go to work on addressing the revenue loss in next year’s budget.             

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.