GOP leaders set spending without Snyder amid pension impasse

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(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Lawmakers are ramping up work on the state budget after cutting Gov. Rick Snyder out of talks.

Republican leaders over the weekend set “target” spending levels — a key step needed before the House and Senate this week can start ironing out differences in a $55 billion spending plan. The leaders proceeded despite an impasse with the Republican governor over closing the pension system to newly hired school employees.

Their plan would spend or save $475 million less than Snyder proposed. It would use the money to pay transition costs to make new teachers eligible for a 401(k) only and not a hybrid pension/401(k) plan. Snyder opposes the switch.

The last time top lawmakers signed a target agreement without a governor was 2009, when Democrat Jennifer Granholm was in office.

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