Weary state House continues squabble over taxes

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A weary and frustrated Michigan House remains sharply divided over a proposed income tax increase as the potential grew for a partial government shutdown.

The state faces a September 30 deadline for eliminating a 1.7 billion-dollar deficit and adopting a budget for the coming fiscal year.

Governor Granholm and Democratic House leaders continue their search for Republicans willing to support their tax plan.

GOP leader Craig DeRoche insisted Republicans were unwavering in their opposition.

Lawmakers took a four-hour morning break so members could rest and attend religious services.

By late afternoon, there'd been no floor debate as negotiations continued behind the scenes.

Shutdown scare hangs over state budget debate

It's unclear exactly what will happen if Michigan lawmakers don't agree on how to fix state government's budget problems by the time the next fiscal year October 1.

The possibilities include shutting down nonessential government services and passing a bare-bones budget that continues current spending levels.

It's unlikely the state will have enough money to fund a continuation budget that lasts for months.

So far, the Legislature has been unable to come up with a plan combining spending cuts and tax increases to close a projected 1.7 billion-dollar deficit.

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