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GOP leaders set spending targets without Snyder amid pension impasse

May 30, 2017

Lawmakers are ramping up work on the state budget after cutting Gov. Rick Snyder out of talks.

Republican leaders over the weekend set "target" spending levels - a key step needed before the House and Senate this week can start ironing out differences in a $55 billion spending plan. The leaders proceeded despite an impasse with the Republican governor over closing the pension system to newly-hired school employees.

Their plan would spend $475 million less than Snyder proposed. It would use the money to pay transition costs to make new teachers eligible for a 401(k) only, and not a hybrid pension/401(k) plan. Snyder opposes the switch.

Legislators have been aiming to finalize the budget by early June, although the current fiscal year doesn't end until September 30. The House approved a $55.8 billion budget proposal in early May.

The last time top lawmakers signed a target agreement without a governor was 2009, when Democrat Jennifer Granholm was in office.