The Michigan Legislature may be inching toward a roads funding package. The roughly $1 billion plan would take $600 million from the state’s general fund and could include a rollback in the state income tax rate. It would also increase vehicle registration fees by 40%. While the House has passed the plan, the Michigan Senate scheduled and then delayed a vote on the plan.
I spoke with Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, about how close we are to seeing a final roads funding plan.
Demas says there's a question about whether Gov. Rick Snyder would even sign a plan that pulls so much money out of the state's general fund, something he has opposed in the past. She adds:
And indications from the non-partisan Fiscal Agency show that we could be looking at a really big budget deficit in a few years as a result of this plan.
Sikkema remains hopeful that the Legislature is getting close to a deal. He says the House is under more pressure to resolve the roads funding issue:
The reason you see the House having moved a plan is they're the ones who are up for re-election up in 2016 ... and I think they realize they've got to solve – at least create the impression they've solved this problem – going into that election.
Here's our conversation: