OK, let’s say I asked you two months ago which of these things our conservative Republican lawmakers would be most likely to do:
1. Approve using state money to help beef up Detroit’s pension finds and vote to raise the minimum wage by almost $2 an hour over the next few years.
2. Or, agree to fix our totally awful roads.
My guess is you would have thought fixing the roads most likely, and boosting the minimum wage an impossible pipe dream. Well, guess what, raising the minimum wage was the first thing they did, followed by helping Detroit.
But they still won’t fix our horrible roads, even though that’s what voters want. What’s worse is that our bizarre Legislature seems to be drifting further away from dealing with the problem.
Democrats, by the way, control nothing. Their main role is to break ties between the different factions of Republicans.
Here’s what’s happening: Two Republicans are showing principled leadership.
First of all, Gov. Rick Snyder, who for years has called on lawmakers to do the right thing and come up with the money needed to fix our roads. Two years ago, he said that would cost at least $1.2 billion a year in new revenue for the next 10 years. Lawmakers did nothing. But after last winter, voters are up in arms. They want the roads, fixed, period, and they have a new champion: Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe. He hasn’t always been a leader here.