Lawmakers Preventing Cuts to Education

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Last week, the governor warned lawmakers if they did not pass her tobacco tax increase, she would be forced to cut aid to education by $28 per pupil. Tuesday, the Michigan Senate rebuffed the governor's linkage of the two issues and voted to restore the possible cut by taking $50 million for other parts of the state budget.

Senator Ron Jelinek who chairs the K-12 education budget says the state could not afford to wait for passage of the tobacco tax with only 22 days left in the school year. The tax may eventually be approved, but apparently not on the governor's timetable of having it before June 15.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee also voted to take $50 million from the state budget and give that to the schools. The house is assuming the tobacco tax will be adopted and used money from that to fund the schools.