Lawmakers Consider Money From Gas Go To Help Roads - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Lawmakers Consider Money From Gas Go To Help Roads

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - If Michigan voters were asked to raise more revenue for the roads, polls show they would probably say no, which is why there is talk of linking transportation funding to efforts to raise more money for the schools.

The governor and legislative leaders from both parties are expected to meet again this week on the road funding-education funding linkage.

One item that lawmakers are considering is taking all of the money now collected at the pump and earmarking it for the roads. Under the current system, $1.2 billion collected at the pump also goes to schools and cities. The schools would lose $700 million and and city halls around the state would lose $500 million.

"When I look at that kind of number it's a little bit disconcerting so how will we replace either part or all of that kind of funding," said Rep. Bill Rogers, the K-12 budget chair.

To replace that money, lawmakers may be asked to put a sales tax increase on the November ballot, which some think voters would support if it were for the schools.

"The voters are more likely to support funding for education and that's the way of doing it and again we need to be honest with the voters," said Rep. Adam Zemke with the school budget committee.

The polls suggest voters would not vote to raise more for roads, which is why others believe linking the two is the way to go.

"Well, certainly it would make sense from a public opinion standpoint if you are going to raise more money for transportation, there's a strong case to be made that we should raise more money for education as well," said Matt Gillard, a school lobbyist.

The next move is up to the governor and legislative leaders. 

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