Michigan Senate Advances State Budget Legislation

LANSING, com. (AP) – The Michigan Senate has approved parts of a 2015 budget that would increase funding for higher education by 7 percent.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $1.5 billion higher education budget 23-15. It includes a $77 million increase for university operations. Some Democrats criticized inclusion of $15 million from the School Aid Fund to support the teachers’ retirement system, saying the fund should be reserved for K-12. The budget is up from $1.4 billion in 2014.

A transportation budget bill also passed 27-11. It allocates $3.7 billion in the 2015 budget, including one-time money for highway and bridge construction to match federal funds. The total is down from $3.8 billion in 2014.

The Senate also passed community college and community health budgets.

The House could pass budget bills later today.

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