LANSING (AP) — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a $56.6 billion budget plan that would provide the biggest increase in base aid for lower-funded school districts in a dozen years while slightly trimming a main fund that covers other state spending, largely due to a projected drop in public assistance caseloads.
The move set the stage for further talks more than a week after the House approved its own plan.
Once a meeting to revise revenue estimates is held May 16, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature will work to finalize the next budget in June, about four months before the start of the fiscal year.
The Senate plan includes a $230 per-pupil increase for school districts that get the minimum grant, which would be the largest since the 2006-07 fiscal year. Higher-funded districts receiving the basic grant would get $115 more per student in the 2018-19 budget.
The House and the Republican governor proposed a slightly higher per-pupil boost ranging between $120 and $240.
Officials tranquilize, capture black bear in Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Authorities in West Michigan have captured a wild black bear that climbed into a tree in a residential neighborhood.
A state Department of Natural Resources biologist tranquilized the bear at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Grand Rapids.
Officials estimate the bear is about 2 years old and weighs about 125 pounds.
WOOD-TV reported that the bear is expected to be released a few counties north of Grand Rapids.
Police began tracking the male bear's movements at about 9:30 a.m. after receiving a report that it was in the neighborhood. By 9:50 a.m., the animal was up a tree.
Wild bears occasionally make their way into the area. In 2011, a pickup driver struck and killed a black bear that was roaming along I-96 in Grand Rapids.
Man rescued from West Michigan lake after canoe overturns
ALLEGAN (AP) — A police dive team pulled a man who had been yelling for help from about 4 feet of water in a southwestern Michigan lake.
The Allegan County Sheriff's Office said a nearby resident heard the man at about 3 a.m. Thursday on Dumont Lake, but couldn't see him due to heavy rain.
Members of the dive and rescue team eventually found the man sitting in the lake.
The Sheriff's Office said the man went fishing at about 4 p.m. Wednesday and tried to swim to a boat launch after his canoe overturned. He was able to make it to a shallow area where he could keep his head above water.
The man was taken to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia.
Thieves take several new pickup trucks in raid of Dodge plant lot
WARREN (AP) — Police said a group of thieves drove off with as many as 10 new Dodge Ram pickup trucks during a predawn raid of an auto plant's storage lot north of Detroit.
Warren police said a security employee at Fiat Chrysler's Warren Truck Assembly Plant saw someone drive one of the trucks through a lot gate at about 4 a.m. Thursday and be followed by eight or nine more trucks. Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer described it as "a convoy."
Dwyer said investigators believe the thieves rode to the factory in a stolen truck found nearby and then cut through the storage lot's fence to get inside.
Dwyer said factory staffers were working to identify the stolen pickups and to provide the vehicle identification numbers to detectives.