Our West Michigan Lawmakers React To Governor Snyder’s Speech

LANSING, Mich. – If you think of Governor Rick Snyder’s third State of the State address as a road map for the upcoming year, you can think of the lawmakers in Lansing as the people using the map.

As they look at the map, there are certain markers along the way the governor wants to his legislators to look for. One such marker are Michigan roads. Gov. Snyder says he wants drivers in Michigan to help pay $1 billion to pay for repairs this year alone.

“Infrastructure is a very important thing of what we need to do,” said newly elected Democratic state representative Winnie Brinks from Grand Rapids. “My concern is that we aren’t asking middle class taxpayers to fit the bill.”

Rep. Colleen Lamonte of Norton Shores, another newly elected Democrat, said companies hauling their freight on Michigan roads need to pay more for upkeep. “Let’s make sure they are paying their fair share of the upkeep we need for our roads,” she said.

In response, West Michigan Republican representative, Lisa Lyons said she doesn’t have answers yet, but she looks forward to talking about it. “This isn’t about class, this is about everyone, especially with our roads.”

“The last thing I want to do is raise taxes, but it’s got to be something that is on the table,” said another Republican, Peter MacGregor from Rockford. “No one wants pay more, but look at the issue that is at hand.”

When it comes to education, the governor wants to focus on the youngest learners and make it a priority to allocate funds for preschool age students.

In response to that idea, Rep. Brinks said she was glad Gov. Snyder was talking about schools. “I’m glad he is talking about early childhood investment.  I want to see how that is going to get paid for.”

“Our schools are struggling,” Rep. Lamonte said. “We have more schools operating at budget deficit than we ever did.  If quality education is what we want, we need to find the political will to fund it.”

Rep. Lyons said she thinks the governor’s plan will work. “We also put $200 million back into the school aid fund, so I am a little perplexed at what they are getting at, because we are doing a great job of keeping that a priority.’

If any of the governor’s priorities are to survive this year and become reality, it will take lawmakers working together.

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5 comments

  • CHANGE IN 2014

    ALL YOU LOWER AND MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS BETTER GRAB YOUR ANKLES. BECAUSE HERE COMES THAT BILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK FOR THE RICH AND BIG BUSINESS THAT THE GOVENOR GAVE AWAY. GOV. RICK "BEN DOVER" SNYDER IS TAPPING ON YOUR SHOULDER!
    SO TAKE IT LIKE A MAN, AND STAND UP AND SMILE…..

  • Bob

    Way to go Fox 17 – cut off the end of the Govenor's speech just to hear Christian Frank recap what we just heard – would have been much better to hear the end of the speech than to cut it short for a waste of a commentary.

  • BOB

    Another comment – your "new" website is terrible, and the morning show is just a repeat of the 10pm news from the night before.
    Some national news high lites would certainly help

  • Terry

    Recalling thoughts of 2 structures in the State of Michigan that I have seen on a road trip .. Don't we have major highways that were half built .. years ago??? One on the West side of the State by Benton Harbor .."Highway to Nowhere" .. and one up by Mackinaw … "OOPS we can't connect We are off a few feet"… Who paid for that?

  • James C. Walker

    The correct way to fund roads is to reset the fuel tax rates to account for the inflation over the last 16 years, and to index it for automatic adjustments in the future so the revenues keep pace with actual costs. Fuel taxes: are proportional to use, encourage more fuel efficient vehicles, charge visitors to the state, tend to reduce fuel demand for imported oil, and are a very fair user fee.

    Large increases in registration fees where the 20,000+ mile driver pays the same as the low income widow who drives 2,500 miles per year are inherently unfair.

    Tell your state Representatives and Senators to raise the funds with a much fairer change in fuel taxes.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor, MI