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School year starts without a state budget

Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 20:00:50-04

LANSING, Mich. —  From superintendents to teachers, many who work in education are upset that the state budget process is moving so slowly.

"The continued politics in Lansing comes at a cost to stability and to students," said John Ellsworth with Grand Ledge Public Schools.

Grand Ledge is in their second week of classes.

They have a budget in place, but educators are worried the state might give them less than they accounted for.

"We have reserves, but we only have a limited amount of reserves so we can't weather the uncertainty for an indefinite period of time," said Ellsworth.

The House was back in session Tuesday, more than a week earlier than expected.

"We've evaluated many of the options that are out there. Many of them that have been suggested are poor alternatives, fiscally irresponsible alternatives," said Rep. Julie Brixie, (D), East Lansing.

"The Majority Leader and I have had ongoing conversations with the governor over the summer, and we're continuing those negotiations and conversations this week. I'm optimistic we're going to see real progress here soon," said House Speaker Lee Chatfield, (R).

The House has 14 more sessions scheduled before the budget expires on October 1.

Unless a budget is signed into law before then, there could be a government shutdown.

"If we go into a government shutdown because we can't do our job, then we're going to cost a lot of different organizations money and hardship," said Rep. Brixie.

The Senate is expected to be back in session Wednesday.

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