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State leaders agree on shortfall

LANSING (AP) — An agreement to address a $3.2 billion shortfall in Michigan’s 2020 budget was announced Monday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders to respond to deep budget shortfalls brought on by the pandemic crisis.

The agreement includes reductions in funding and also provides federal COVID-19 relief funding for schools, universities, community colleges and local governments, businesses and workers, Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a joint statement.

“In this time of crisis, it is our responsibility to come together and build a budget that reflects a bipartisan commitment to the things we value most as Michiganders,” their statement said. “This agreement provides crucial funding for Michigan families, schools, and communities grappling with costs incurred as a result of the virus.”

They said would work together to address shortfalls in next year’s budget and asked for congressional help in the next budget. The current budget year ends Sept. 30.

The agreement still requires approval by the full Legislature.