LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House has overwhelmingly approved a $65 billion state spending plan and the release of billions in federal COVID-19 relief aid for K-12 schools.
There is an agreement between the Republican-led House and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, but not with the Senate.
The plan would eliminate a funding gap among school districts — a proposed milestone 27 years after Michigan overhauled the financing of public education.
The next fiscal year does not start until Oct. 1. But a law requires lawmakers to send the governor a plan by July 1. It could be delayed if a deal isn’t reached.
“The budget process is a thing that happens every year. Gov. Whitmer and our administration delivered our budget back in February, our recommendations,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist told News 8 during a visit to Grand Rapids Friday. “We did so understanding in 2019, we passed a law that the budget needs to be done by July 1. I don’t see any reason why the Legislature should not meet that deadline but we are certainly going to work with them. And sometimes you turn your homework in a little late; we’re hoping they get all the right answers.”
That July 1 goalpost can be moved with the consent of both chambers of the Legislature and the governor. That could happen next week unless the Legislature hurriedly agrees on a spending plan.
—News 8 political reporter Rick Albin contributed to this report.