GOP leaders agree on budget without road deal with Whitmer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders agreed to a budget framework Thursday and intend to begin passing spending bills next week despite not having a road-funding deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer has vowed to veto any plan that does not include a “real fix” to significantly boost spending on roads and public education. But with the Oct. 1 budget deadline approaching and no consensus on road funding nearly six months after Whitmer proposed a 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike, the GOP-led Legislature is moving forward — setting the stage for a showdown.

Target spending levels were sent Thursday to the chairs of budget subcommittees, said Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. The figures were not made public.

Some House-Senate conference panels are expected to start voting next week, once details are hashed out. Republican leaders had signaled last week that they would pivot toward finalizing the budget, saying it does not need to be linked with the road-funding debate.

Whitmer’s gas tax increase is the linchpin of her budget plan, however. It would guarantee $2.5 billion in additional revenue for roads and bridges and halt the eventual diversion of $600 million a year in general funds to the transportation budget.

It was not immediately known how much more the GOP’s blueprint would spend on roads, but it is expected to be less than what Whitmer wants. She has said the roads will deteriorate further without a multibillion-dollar influx of new revenue.

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  • steve

    Whitmer and her husband can financially stand any gas tax increase. Aside from the likely state-owned car burning state supplied gas that she rides around in, she doesn’t care that those of us that live paycheck to paycheck would suffer a great deal to fix her damn roads. I can’t see her changing. She’s a modern day Democrat and because of that somehow, in some way she’ll a way to make us pay. A lot.

  • BS

    I would like Michigan to open up the books and let citizens see how much “gas tax” and Lottery money was collected in the past and just exactly where it went. We pay far more in taxes than we realize and the taxes that we do pay doesn’t get into the accounts it was intended for.

  • Liberals are scum

    Wheres the story about Nessel using hackers to win her election? Oh yea Democrats are allowed to cheat I forget the rules.

  • Jared

    Why doesn’t she make Nestle pay for the water thier taking and stop trying to raise taxes. We already had a gas tax hike a couple of years back and it didn’t improve the roads.

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