Skubick: Road fix, budget deals stall

Michigan

There is no deal to fix the roads.  There is no agreement to complete the new state budget and the governor and two Republican Legislative leaders can not even agree on what each is doing to resolve both issues.

The governor tells reporters that she has had a couple of meetings with the two Republican leaders but, she claims, they have yet to give her a real plan to fix the roads.

But Senate Republican leader Sen. Mike Shirkey counters, the Republicans have given her plenty of plans to consider.

So is there a real Republican plan? It’s shaping up as a classic “she said, he said” exchange.

Regarding a Republican plan, first the governor said, “thus far we have seen nothing of that sort. That’s the problem.

And Sen. Shirkey responded with, “so far, after four different proposals by the legislature to her, all we have gotten is unacceptable. No negotiations. No offers for exchange.”

So the senator argues Whitmer’s the one not negotiating.

To which she retorts, “in order to have a legitimate negotiation you gotta put something on the table that is worth talking about.” 

The governor explains she wants some real alternatives to her plan to raise the gas tax 45 cents.

Mr. Shirkey contends they put a lower gas tax hike figure on her plate and the governor denies it.

Yet another “he said – she said”.

Skubick: “Did they put on the table a gas tax hike?”

Gov. Whitmer: “We have had very short conversations about the plan that they’ve had.”

Skubick: “So is that a no to my question?”

Gov. Whitmer: “Have they put on the table a gas tax hike? No. Not in any substantive that way, no.”

To which Sen. Sharkey responds, “but, yes, Tim, the gas tax was part of the conversation.”

The Senate Republican and House Republican Speaker and the governor all say they will continue to talk about roads and the budget.

While the governor talks about a possible government shutdown, the Republicans disagree with her on that, too

“What I think is wrong for the governor to hold the budget hostage because we are not willing to tax every driver 45 cents a gallon,” says Speaker Rep. Lee Chatfield. “I’m asking the governor to meet us in the middle.”

The middle ground has not been reached yet.

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