State House passes budget; differs widely from Gov. Snyder’s plan

(AP) – The Republican-led Michigan House has approved a $39.5 billion general budget that would spend hundreds of millions less than what is being proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The GOP majority says the plan would fund priorities such as roads and public safety and give local governments more in revenue sharing than under Snyder’s plan. It would also add $265 million to savings as requested by the Republican governor.

Democrats say the House plan – approved 60-47 Tuesday night along mostly party lines – too often goes halfway and does not fully fund increases sought by Snyder in areas such as environmental protection and meals for seniors.

Base per-student aid would increase by $100 next school year under a $16.3 billion education budget approved by a divided Michigan House.

The Republican-led chamber also voted Tuesday to give schools significantly more funding for low-income kids, as requested by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The House and Senate plan to approve their spending plans this week.

In the House, the minimum foundation grant would rise to $7,611, or 1.3 percent. The basic level would jump to $8,329, or 1.2 percent. The Republican governor instead has proposed a $100 boost for the lower-funded schools and a $50 increase for the higher-funded ones – sticking with a formula to reduce the gap in funding across districts.

Lawmakers and Snyder plan to finalize the budget by early June after receiving new tax revenue estimates.

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