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.