The governor knew when he walked into the House Chamber last January that his chances of getting new revenue for the roads were not very good. House Republicans were running for re-election and running away from anything that even looked like a tax increase for the roads and the governor knew that as he called on lawmakers to "solve this problem now."
Now a year later, 2013 is the year for the governor to move on this stalled agenda. The pot holes are getting deeper, the infrastructure has gotten worse and the governor is convinced $1.4 billion is needed to get the job done. But he will face stiff opposition to any new revenue from the TEA Party wing of the GOP and the anti-tax coalition.
Suffice it to say new money for the roads, is not on his agenda.
"He needs $1.4 billion for the roads but not from the people. He needs to take it from other areas of state government," said Scott Hagerstrom. "He should reduce spending and be more efficient."
GOP Senator Mike Nystrom is ready to reintroduce bills to raise road revenue as Senator Roger Kahn has concluded you can't come up with the $1.4 billion by stealing from other parts of the state budget.
The road building lobby, which has been patiently waiting for a vote on all this some 1997, the last time the gas tax was raised must confront the no tax increase attitude at the capitol.
"People are signing these no new tax pledges. They think it's going to help them get reelected," said Nystrom. "So it makes it very difficult to push that green button when it comes time for these tough votes."
But it's likely the governor will need some democrats to join him in this effort, but here's the harsh reality: given the bitter battle over right to work last year, some democrats are not in the mood right now to help the governor do anything.
Governor Snyder will give his State of the State Address January 16th.
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