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Wed August 14, 2013
State lawmakers still far from agreeing on plan to fix Michigan's roads
A plan to improve Michigan’s roads and infrastructure will probably not be on the November ballot. That’s according to leaders of both parties in the state Senate.
Governor Rick Snyder wants the state Legislature to boost road funding by more than a billion dollars a year. But lawmakers have not embraced his plan to raise registration fees and the state’s gas tax to pay for it.
Instead, multiple plans have surfaced that would include asking voters to increase the state’s sales tax.
But Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says there’s probably not enough time to get a plan on the November ballot.
“The sooner we fix the problem, the sooner we talk about it, the better,” says Richardville, “But I want to make sure we do it right because, again, this is a really big decision.”
Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer agrees lawmakers are not close enough to a deal to make that happen this year.
“Conversations are happening. That’s a step in the right direction,” says Whitmer, “But I wouldn’t go beyond that and say we’ll have something on the ballot by November. I think that’s very, very unlikely.”
Lawmakers would have to approve a plan in early September to get it on the ballot in November.
Richardville and Whitmer say it’s more likely voters could be asked to raise the sales tax in May or August of next year.