Lawmakers react to 2019 State House GOP priorities

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Republican State Representatives say they plan to reach across the aisle to get things done in our state, acknowledging the new mix of leaders in Michigan.

Roads are an issue that dominated campaigns in 2018, and it seems like both Democrats and Republicans agree that fixing them is priority number one.

The question is, how will lawmakers fund the repairs? Republicans don’t seem too keen on raising taxes. Representative Graham Filler, who represents Michigan’s 93rd District, wants to look at other areas first.

“Is there revenue already out there where you can find it and shift it into roads?” He said. “I know the republicans the last three years took about $500 million and shifted it toward road funding.”

Democratic Representative Julie Brixie says she’s confident both sides can work together, but thinks any plan needs to be different than the one passed four years ago. That plan hiked the gas tax and vehicle registration fees to pay for roads.

“The 2015 plan that they had clearly isn’t working, and we need to be honest with our residents and come up with a plan that does work,” Brixie, who represents Michigan’s 69th District, said. “And I’m confident that our governor is going to work with the legislature to find a good plan.”

Other key priorities are addressing the Flint water crisis and PFAS crisis in our state to make sure everyone has clean drinking water. Both sides are also calling for more transparency in the government, as well as reduced auto insurance costs.

An additional priority in the plan is criminal justice reform, including raising the age for criminal prosecution from 17 to 18-years-old.

Some of the GOP’s goals will likely see opposition from democrats, including supporting the line 5 replacement tunnel and opposing any changes in state law to loosen abortion restrictions.

Republicans called for unity, saying “This isn’t Washington, D.C., and we’re not going to become
Washington, D.C.”

Brixie agreed bipartisianship is necessary.

“Any issue that the democrats want to bring forth is going to have to be a bipartisan issue because we don’t have control of the house or senate,” she said.

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