Michigan Senate Finishes Budget Balancing Work

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The state Senate on Thursday passed the last piece of a budget-balancing deal for state government in this fiscal year.

The bill, which passed 36-0, would make available $90 million to $94 million from a fund intended for college loans. The money is surplus, which means it can be used for other purposes without taking money away from existing or planned tuition grants or student loans.

The House soon is expected to send the bill to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who will sign it.

The measure is part of a recent deal to balance an $800 million deficit in the state budget that ends Sept. 30.

Granholm and lawmakers also have agreed to sell part of Michigan's future tobacco lawsuit settlement, raising about $415 million. Another part of the deal will delay or cut payments to universities and made other spending adjustments and accounting changes.

The governor and lawmakers have yet to deal with a projected $1.6 billion shortfall in the next budget year.

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