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Politics put aside in budget talks

All the news out of Lansing and Washington isn’t always negative.

Occasionally our state leaders can bury their ideological differences and come together for the common good.

That sense of bipartisanship leadership was on display this week by our State Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. Stamas is the number two ranking Republican in the Senate because of that position, which controls financial spending and helps prepare the state budget each year.

On Monday he announced that he, House Appropriations Chair Shane Hernandez and State Budget Director Chris Kolb had reached agreement on the spending parameters for the state’s 2021 budget.

“This has been a year unlike any other,” said Stamas. “The unprecedented challenges Michigan has faced meant that working together — Republicans and Democrats and the Legislature and the Administration — was absolutely essential. This agreement means a fiscally-responsible budget will be in place in time for the new fiscal year.”

Indeed, that is good news for everyone. Even better, perhaps, is the fact that Stamas said the agreement prioritizes education funding by ensuring no reduction in funding to K-12 public schools in 2021.

Another popular priority for local governments will be the fact that the agreement also stipulates no cuts in revenue sharing for them.

Look for final budget bills to move through the Legislature sometime next week. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

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