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Senate GOP leader wants to avoid mid-year cuts

23 February -- Press reports indicate that while Senate Republicans are keeping their alternate budget proposals "close to the vest," a few details are seeping out. MIRS News, a state politics news service, reports that Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) indicated that the GOP plan would not take back the per-pupil increase for schools originally budgeted for this year, avoiding mid-year cuts. It is not clear how the Senate GOP plans to find the funds to support this, though Republicans are on record as calling for much deeper cuts in overall state government spending. Indications are that the GOP plan would at least mirror many of the Governor's proposals for reductions, including changes in the state pension system that would fill half the school aid funding gap for this year. While Senate Republicans have been insisting that the next move remains with Governor Granholm, Sen. Bishop has had some direct talks with the Governor and they may be edging toward a compromise.

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