Michigan lawmakers begin passing budget bills despite no deal with Whitmer

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 3:41 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republicans who control Michigan’s Senate have begun approving a $66.4 billion budget.

The GOP budget plan would spend 5% more than in the current year -- thanks to an influx of federal funding -- but about $728 million less than what is proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Democrats voted against bills, showing a legislative deal with the Democratic governor remained weeks or months away.

Legislators are required to pass spending bills by July 1, though the fiscal year will not start until Oct. 1. The Republican-led House also plans to begin passing budget legislation Tuesday, including billions of federal COVID-19 relief aid.

Whitmer previously vetoed some Republican bills in March to spend Michigan’s share COVID-19 relief funding in part because lawmakers did not negotiate a plan with her administration.

Whitmer proposed spending about $67.1 billion during the next fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022, when she presented her recommendations to lawmakers in February.

Republicans have proposed a plan for $13 billion in separate spending of one-time federal allocations of COVID-19 relief money. Whitmer has proposed two separate $5.7 billion plans to spend money from the relief bills Congress approved in December and February.

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