Lansing lawmakers approve $55 billion state budget before their summer break

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Lawmakers in Lansing are heading home for summer recess after approving a $55 billion state budget.

For the sixth year in a row, legislative Republicans are taking a bow for getting the budget done four months before the deadline.

"It allows local units of government and local school boards so they can do their budgeting and get prepared for the start of their year," said State Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville).

But this former Democrat on the budget committee says it’s not all about speed.

"I think it's the quality of the budget," said Fred Durhal. "As opposed to speed."

A big chuck of the $55 billion goes into education.

"They get about 30%  percent of all the dollars we spend going to education," said Pscholka.

FOX 2: "The K-12 kids get $8,000 now"

"And we're proud of that," Pscholka said. "We've been working on the last four or five years to make sure we increase our commitment to K-12 even though revenues were  done a little bit."

But the House Democratic leader contends the schools are still underfunded.

"If you look at education funding today, compared to when the GOP took control of the house, in inflation adjusted dollars, it’s much lower today that it was before," said Rep. Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills).

Greimel also complains the budget is titled in favor of the rich over the middle class.

But this Republican disagrees.

"It’s a record amount of money that we're investing in lots of different things," said Rep. Tim Kelly (D-Saginaw). "These are on-time,  fiscally sound and solid."

FOX 2: "Democrats contend its tilted to the wealthy."

"I don't see how," Kelly said.

What the Republicans did with the budget will likely be an issue as lawmakers in the House leave for the campaign trail.

As for a summer session in this town. two days are on the calendar.
 

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