The governor wants to raise a billion dollars or more a year to repair the state's infrastructure. The road builders and business have launched a $600,000 ad campaign to convince lawmakers to vote yes.
The road builder lobbyist says the campaign will not feature the face of any elected official.
"We don't have a face. The face will be a huge pot hole," said Mike Nystrom, a road builder lobbyist. (Reporter) Are you going to use the governor to sell this? "No. No," said Nystrom.
The governor got no applause when he unveiled his blueprint last week, a car registration fee coupled with a re-giggered gasoline tax at the wholesale level.
But GOP Senator Roger Kahn, with the governor's blessing, has developed a new strategy that would bring the Michigan voters into the equation. Here's how it would work... Lawmakers would vote for the governor's fee hikes, but then they would also vote to place on the may ballot a plan to raise the sales tax by two cents with that money going for the roads.
If the voters said yes to the sale tax, the fees approved by lawmakers were not take effect, but if the voters said no, then they would. Nystrom likes this either or approach, because either way, his industry will get an influx of billions of dollars.
"This is going to be a tough vote. There will be some pain for them to push the green button," said Nystrom. "If it passes, we get money. If it doesn't pass, we get money, about $1.5 to 1.6 billion."
The governor knows he can not pass this with just GOP votes. He will need a significant number of democrats on the other side of the aisle to do it and he will have to give them something. The Senate democratic leader says she is open to making a deal with the governor and the House democratic leader has said privately he wants to help, too. So far, the democrats have not laid their wish list on the table.