- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Latest on the Michigan Senate’s approval of its budget plan (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

The Michigan Senate has approved a $25.5 billion health and human services budget that would spend less than what Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed.

Majority Republicans say trimming the Republican governor’s plan would make room as they push for changing the teacher retirement system so newly hired employees qualify solely for a 401(k) and not a pension. They say important services are still funded.

But Democrats say the Senate proposal would shortchange understaffed psychiatric hospitals, low-paid care workers, efforts to eradicate childhood lead poisoning and a low-income dental clinic in Detroit.

Senators approved five of their 16 budget bills Wednesday and plan to pass the rest Thursday. Major bills OK’d Wednesday include school aid and the health and human services budgets.

The final budget will not be finalized with the House and Snyder until June.

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12 p.m.

Michigan schools would receive between $88 and $176 more per student in their base funding under a budget plan approved by the Republican-led state Senate.

The legislation passed 23-15 Wednesday would provide more than the $50-100 boost proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder. It would do so by using $100 million that the Republican governor wants for reimbursing districts for their employee retirement costs.

Overall school aid spending would increase by 0.9 percent.

The Senate plan would give schools an extra $100 million to educate at-risk students and expand eligibility, a significant increase but less than the $150 million proposed by Snyder.

Democrats unsuccessfully sought amendments to longer funding traditional and cyber schools the same and to stop helping private schools pay for state-mandated expenses.

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11:20 a.m.

The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate is passing a budget that would spend or allocate $542 million less than what has been proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The $56 billion plan being approved Wednesday would spend $276 million less in general funds than Snyder proposed. Republicans for now also are not adding about $266 million to savings as called for by the Republican governor.

GOP leaders are setting money aside to potentially cut taxes or address debt in the school employees’ retirement system - issues that could become part of negotiations in coming weeks.

In early voting Wednesday, Democrats accused Republicans of not adequately investing in environmental cleanup, much-needed state park improvements and the enforcement of lead limits in drinking water statewide after Flint’s crisis.

The GOP-led House approved its plan Tuesday.

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