Michigan's community colleges would receive the same amount of money they now get from the state for basic operations next budget year, but some would lose reimbursement payments related to special tax zones under a bill approved Wednesday by the state Legislature.
The Republican-led Senate passed a community college budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 by a 32-5 vote. The Democratic-run House passed it by a 56-49 vote and it will soon be headed to Gov. Jennifer Granholm as part of the state's next budget plan.
The bill provides nearly $296 million for community colleges, down about 1 percent overall from this fiscal year's spending plan.
The proposal eliminates roughly $3 million in state reimbursement of money community colleges lose through property tax exemptions connected to Michigan's renaissance zones, a program that provides tax breaks in certain areas to try and spur economic development.
Montcalm Community College could lose about $341,000 on the deal, the equivalent of 11 percent of its state aid. The Wayne County Community College District could lose nearly $680,000, equal to about 4 percent of its state aid.
Other colleges face smaller reductions on a percentage basis or aren't affected by the plan.
Much of the opposition to the proposal came from lawmakers who represent districts with colleges losing the most cash under the plan.
The Legislature on Wednesday also wrapped up the next budget for the Michigan State Police. It includes an overall cut of nearly 4 percent but is not expected to cause any trooper layoffs or police post shutdowns.
Michigan lawmakers are working to eliminate a projected overall budget deficit of about $484 million for the next fiscal year. Legislative leaders are trying to develop a tax amnesty plan and adopt a retirement incentive program for state employees as part of the budget deal.
The tentative budget agreement reached by Granholm's administration and lawmakers would balance the budget without tax increases.