Road Funding Debate Hits Road Block At State Capitol - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Road Funding Debate Hits Road Block At State Capitol

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Efforts to raise $1.5 billion dollars to fix our roads have run into a road block at the state capitol.

As 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick reports, the two political parties are at odds over how to do it.

The governor and the four legislative leaders did a victory lap Tuesday on passing state aid for Detroit and there was hope the momentum from that would transfer to the contentious debate over road funding. So much for that.

“Let’s just say that we went from a great kumbaya moment on Detroit and coming together to a very unproductive, quadrant meeting,” said Gretchen Whitmer,

In fact the meeting lasted 15 minutes. The only thing they agreed to was...

“An agreement to continue talking, but that's about it,” said Randy Richardville, senate republican leader.

Reporter: This is a stalemate.”

“At this point in time it looks like that,” said Gretchen Whitmer, senate democratic leader.

The democrats argue there is a stalemate because the governor will not give the democrats what they want in return for their votes for the republican road package.

The senate republican leader has told the democrats after they provide votes for his package, then the two sides can talk about other issues.

“ I don't trust them number one and number two if they're going to ask us to help raise $1.8 billion dollars of taxes we certainly can afford to give people relief who are gonna hardly be able to make ends meet,” said Gretchen Whitmer, senate democratic leader.

Reporter: “So the Governor needs to budge, doesn't he?”

Senator Whitmer: “I think it’s time to negotiate."

Here's what is emerging, the senate republican leader wants to pass his package now and then later on perhaps, put on the ballot a sales tax increase for the roads.

“But if we took this first step, we could actually start building roads and then take a look, actually repairing and maintaining roads and then take a look at a bigger issue. Should we put something on the ballot and have people decide if that was the best way or if there's an even better way,” said Randy Richardville, senate republican leader.

Assuming the senate did that, one of the house republican leaders thinks that just might work.

“It picks up votes, I think it certainly picks up votes and then there's a whole bunch of work for people to do here and out in the public to educate them on that,” said John Walsh, house republican leader.

But at this read, there is no deal, with four legislative days left before everybody splits for the summer.
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