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Michigan Senate approves balanced budget amendment bill

Michigan could become the fifth state to approve identical legislation calling for a constitutional convention to pass a federal balanced budget amendment.

The Republican-led state Senate voted 26-11 along party lines Thursday to join the Compact for America. It's an effort backed by conservative lawmakers and is among three different proposals seeking a constitutional convention circulating in statehouses.

The bill, which goes to the House, calls for a national convention on a balanced budget amendment when at least three-fourths of states become members of the compact.

Forty-nine states have a balanced budget requirement, but Congress doesn't. The proposed amendment would restrict debt and let Congress increase debt only with approval from state legislatures.

The Michigan Legislature last year passed a separate petition for a convention on a balanced federal budget.

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