Granholm vetoes parts of budget,but signs most bills

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signed most of the new state budget bills, but she also has rejected portions through several line-item vetoes announced yesterday.

Granholm vetoed more than $800,000 set aside for various projects in the state’s Department of Human Services budget, saying they “cannot be supported during these tight fiscal times.”

The funding affects items ranging from a school-based crisis intervention program in Pontiac to a social services program in Newberry.

The governor also scaled back rate increases planned for adoption service providers to 4 percent, which she said was the amount agreed upon in budget negotiations.

Senate votes to delay service tax

Under fire from an angry business community, the Republican-led Senate yesterday began the process of killing off a 6 percent tax on services lawmakers passed a month ago.

By a 22-14 vote, the Senate sent a bill to the Democrat-controlled House that would delay the start of the expanded service tax from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20, giving lawmakers more time to repeal the tax and replace the lost revenue.

“We want to give them assurance that we mean business to lift this burden off their backs,” said Sen. Cameron Brown (R-Sturgis) sponsor of the bill delaying the tax.


Congress passes another children’s health bill

A defiant Democratic-controlled Congress voted yesterday to provide health insurance to an additional 4 million lower-income children, and President Bush vowed swiftly to cast his second straight veto on the issue.

The legislation cleared the Senate on a vote of 64-30. It passed the House last week, but supporters were shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override Bush’s threatened veto.

“We’re convinced that the president has undermined an effort to protect children,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said shortly before the vote.

VIENNA, Austria

U.S. official warns that Iran faces more sanctions

A senior U.S. official challenged Iran’s hard-line president yesterday over his claim that Iranians are immune from further U.N. sanctions, saying such action is in the works unless Tehran meets demands to curb its nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his own warning in Tehran, saying his government would make unspecified economic retaliation against any European country that followed the U.S. lead in imposing sanctions on some Iranian banks and businesses.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns made his comment after a meeting with the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency that was meant to demonstrate unity following recent strains on how best to deal with Iran’s defiance.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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