Earlier this week the Senate Republican leader was asked if he could cut a billion dollars out of the state budget for the roads and Sen. Mike Shirkey said, “I think we can get north of a billion dollars.”
Today, the Republican senator is clarifying what he meant to 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick.
This will send shock waves throughout the state bureaucracy as the Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey is reporting, for the first time, that his side could slice and dice over one billion dollars from state services.
The hit list has not be released.
This is just one element in the Republican road fix plan which the governor reports she has not seen.
“We’ve had conversations but no negotiations,” said the governor. “They have not shared a plan. I have read bits and pieces of what they have been talking about amongst themselves but it’s time for us to get serious about the budget.”
Sen. Shirkey is aiming for a repeat of the bi-partisan solution with the governor on no-fault car insurance.
He tells WJR radio, “I’m encouraged. We’ll have a joint announcement in a couple of weeks.
Other elements Mr. Shirkey has disclosed include:
(1) More Than $1 B in Cuts
(2) $600 Million General Funds
(3) More Bang for Road Buck
There is a huge sticking point between the senator and the House Speaker Lee Chatfield. The senator says new revenue is needed for the roads but the Speaker opposes that and is pushing for more budget cuts, which Mr. Shirkey reports would be “painful in a major way.”
Mr. Shirkey reports the governor has been “an honest broker and is honestly evaluating” these Republican alternatives but until all the leaders get in the room together with a concrete proposal on the table, no one can predict the outcome.
Even though Mr. Shirkey remains upbeat about a road deal down the road.
Senator Shirkey spoke with 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick this afternoon and said “it was clearly not my intent” to suggest a billion dollars in cuts alone, thus implying there were other ways to get to the billion dollars without cutting state services.