Michigan budget tussle is about more than increasing gas tax

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — What is expected to be a protracted tussle over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first budget proposal is about much more than her call to hike fuel taxes.

A resolution, which appears months away, also hinges on the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers settling big differences over education funding.

Whitmer wants a $527 million boost in the school budget, a 3.5% increase. But it has not been embraced by the Republican-controlled Senate, which supports a $396 million, or 2.7%, boost, partly by trimming other facets of her spending plan.

The Senate also is not supporting Whitmer’s proposal to begin a new “weighted” formula to account for extra costs to educate certain students. How the differences are resolved will affect the finances of every traditional district and charter school in the state.