As 6 News first reported Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is prepared to move without the Republican legislature to fix the roads and she will not ask for a gas tax hike to do it.
Now Republicans are reacting to the story.
Skubick: “When a governor says she is going to work unilaterally to fix the roads, what does that say to you as a legislature?”
Rep. Aaron Miller: “What are we here for? (laughter)”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has reportedly concluded she tried last year to work with the divided Republican legislature to fix the roads, and she got a goose egg.
Although she remains open to working with the Republicans, she is not going to wait around for them again and won’t ask for a gas tax hike.
Sen. Tom Barrett, Republican chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, says you can fix the roads without a gas tax hike.
“It’s definitely ok with not doing a gas tax hike,” explains Sen. Barrett. “There are plenty of other ways to raise the money and we can find those ways, absolutely.”
And Republicans running for re-election this year may be relieved.
Republican Rep Jason Sheppard says, “Obviously a lot of our members are happy to have to not deal with that issue.”
The governor could sell bonds to fix the roads without lawmakers, but Republican Rep. Aaron Miller wonders, “I’m not going to make a decision cause I’m put against the wall and somebody says it’s a billion dollar bond or else work with me. I’m not going to negotiate that way and I don’t think anybody else will.”
Democrat Rep. Jon Hoadley reacts to speculation the governor is delivering some sort of ultimatum to the other side.
“Tim, you are putting words in her mouth there.”
Skubick: “I’m just asking the question.”
Rep. Hoadley: “There are things she can tackle right now and use every tool in her tool box to fix the roads. We can’t let the dysfunction that sometimes happens in Lansing get in the way of fixing those potholes.”
All this comes to a head with the Republicans next week as the governor lays out her road plan in her State of the State January 29th.