Michigan lawmakers are searching for some elusive common ground as they try to avoid a partial government shutdown that could start October 1st.
A key step will be determining how much of a projected 1.75 billion dollar deficit for the fiscal year that begins next week should be erased through a higher personal income tax rate.
A joint panel of Senate and House members was expected to begin negotiating that touchy subject as early as Tuesday. The Legislature could be asked to vote on whatever compromise they reach within a few days.
The current income tax rate is 3.9 percent. Many Democrats want to set the rate at 4.6 or higher, while Republicans appear to have topped out at voting on a proposal to raise the rate to 4.3 percent.
Groups across Michigan's political spectrum are calling for compromise to settle the state budget situation.