The Michigan Senate has approved a $25.5 billion health and human services budget that would spend less than what Governor Snyder has proposed. Majority Republicans say trimming the Republican governor’s plan would make room as they push for changing the teacher retirement system so newly hired employees qualify solely for a 401(k) and not a pension. They say important services are still funded.
But Democrats say the Senate proposal would shortchange understaffed psychiatric hospitals, low-paid care workers, efforts to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and a low-income dental clinic in Detroit. Senators approved five of their 16 budget bills Wednesday and plan to pass the rest Thursday. Major bills OK’d Wednesday include school aid and the health and human services budgets. The final budget will not be finalized with the House and Snyder until June.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.