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State Looking At $500 Million Surplus

LANSING (WWJ) - After the big debate over Michigan's budget -- the necessary cuts and the restructuring of the business tax plan -- there's word that there are millions in unanticipated dollars sitting in the state treasury, which earlier seemed bare.

WWJ's Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick calls it a "conundrum."

Reporting live Monday morning, Tim told WWJ's Joe Donovan and Roberta Jasina that lawmakers have been voting to cut the budget left and right -- and particularly in the school aid plan -- by a couple of hundred dollars per pupil. And, now comes a surplus.

How are some of these politicians, they ask themselves, going to go home and explain this to the folks back home: I've cut education, but we've got money in the treasury; maybe as much as $500 million extra.

This is a problem, and there will be a huge debate after the surplus is certified at what is called the Revenue Estimating Conference. There will be a pushback and, Tim is told, the governor will go along with taking some of the surplus and putting it back in the school aid budget. The question is how many dollars, because there are other more conservative Republicans who will want to put the money into a rainy day fund.

Tim will be providing details when they become apparent sometime Monday morning.

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