Gov. Jennifer Granholm plans to plunge into resolving the state's budget crisis when she returns Thursday from a trade trip to Germany and Austria.
"I'm going to demand that we sit in a room until we reach an agreement. I'm expecting people to clear their calendars until the end of the month, and that we are going to go into negotiations and come out only when we have an agreement," she said Tuesday in a telephone call from Germany.
The state faces a $900 million shortfall in the current budget and a $1 billion deficit in the budget year that starts Oct. 1. It also needs a replacement for the Single Business Tax, which brings in nearly $2 billion annually and expires at the end of the year.
The Democratic governor has offered a business replacement tax and has proposed putting a 2 percent tax on most services except education and health care starting June 1, the latest date she says the tax would raise enough revenue to balance this year's budget.
Republican and Democratic legislative leaders say they first want to try to resolve the current shortfall with spending cuts, although some kind of tax increase -- perhaps a temporary one -- may be allowed to balance the books for the budget year that starts Oct. 1.