Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) already is kicking off budget talks for the 2011 fiscal year, which doesn't begin until next October.
The Lansing State Journal reported this weekend that Granholm is asking her agency heads to submit - by Nov. 30 - plans to slash a jarring 20 percent of their 2011 budgets. While it is far from certain that Michigan's eventual budget will include cuts of that magnitude, the prospect is prompting concerns from advocacy groups and others over what kind of state government will remain.
"Combine (the proposed cuts) with 10 percent cuts that department heads are implementing in this year's budget," the State Journal noted, "and what's left is a state government trimmed by nearly a third in only two fiscal years."
In a separate editorial urging lawmakers to reject the cuts, the State-Journal left little doubt what a 20-percent, across-the-board reduction in spending would look like: "The only conceivable way of getting to such levels," it said, "would be with widespread job cuts."