February 4, 2009 -- With the United States Senate set to take up debate on the President Barack Obama's proposed 900 billion dollar stimulus package, officials in Lansing will be closely watching the proceedings, hoping that federal money will allow lawmakers to avoid painful state budget cuts.
Overall, Obama's proposed stimulus bill would provide 5 billion dollars in federal aid. Although only 2 billion will be available for the general budget, the money would decrease the need for massive cuts in state spending to plug the 1.4 billion dollar projected state budget deficit. Without federal aid, the government will be forced to make painful cuts to state services and functions at a time when many claim the state needs them the most.
Michigan's situation is not unique. States across the nation are facing massive budget deficits and crucial debates over the source of necessary budget cuts, and are clamouring for federal relief. Republican state governors have broken with their party and supported Obama's plan.