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Roads fix stalled by "typical partisan wrangling"

Oct 15, 2015

Michigan drivers have become all too familiar with the dreaded pothole.
Credit flickr user Michael Gil / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Gov. Rick Snyder’s mantra of “relentless, positive action” hit a great big pothole this week.

Negotiations over that elusive road funding plan hit what the governor calls “an impasse” when Democrats would not agree to an across-the-board income tax cut.

The Detroit News’ Daniel Howes makes the point in his column today that our state representatives can sit in session all night long to get rid of a couple of philandering tea partiers, but can't come up with an answer for voters all over Michigan screaming for a roads fix.

According to Howes, their inability to agree on a plan is due in large part to “typical partisan wrangling over things like the income tax.”

The approaching election year is putting even more pressure on the Republican-controlled executive and legislative branches to make a move on the income tax as soon as possible.

“The sooner they get it done, the more likely I think it is that voters will focus more on the solution than on how they did it,” Howes says.

Howes thinks that if Michigan can come to terms on a plan to fix our roads it will send a message about the state’s willingness to do its part to support business.

He looks south to Ohio as an example, where Democrats and Republicans running the state fall closer to the political center than they do here in Michigan, and have demonstrated “longer and more agreement about continuing certain kinds of things throughout administrations, whether it’s investing in infrastructure, whether it’s economic development.”

And according to Howes, that long-standing cooperation shows.

“All you need to do, the easiest way to see the difference, is to go down into Monroe and drive into Toledo. I mean, as soon as you cross the state line it’s like a different world,” he says.