(WLNS) – State lawmakers were back at the state capitol today and road funding was being discussed but there is no agreement on how to raise the revenue for the roads and 6 News Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick reports on where the talks are.
State lawmakers returning to the capitol were greeted with this billboard…fix the roads..but do the citizens really want to pay for it.
State Rep. Harold Haugh says “It’s running 100 to one. fix the roads. fix the bridges. do not tax me.”
House GOP speaker Jase Bolger has heard that and his plan would phase in over six years, a one penny boost in the wholesale price of gas.
While there may some merit to that, the Senate GOP leader argues, the phase in doesn’t get the job done.
“I don’t think it gets us to where we need to be revenue wise as fast we need to maintain the roads,” said Randy Richardville, senate republican leader.
“The faster we get the money into the roads, the better off we’re going to be.”
But the road building lobby counters the speakers phase in idea could be used to sell bonds to fix the roads while you are waiting to collect the new dollars over time.
“From what we understand, the state can borrow against the future revenues and we can get some of the current season going,” said Lance Binoniemi, road building lobbyist.
While the GOP speaker is trying to avoid a large tax hike, his senate GOP counterpart contends, “I don’t see how you can get this done without raising taxes.”
Meanwhile a member of the house transportation committee argues, lawmakers who have signed a pledge not to raise taxes, can vote no, but then they would not get any of the road revenue back home.
“For those who feel they have to adide by their promises and pledges, then they additional money should go into the districts where those who vote yes for it,” said State Representative Marilyn Lane (d), Fraser.
The governor and four legislative leaders are meeting to find a middle ground on road funding before the lame duck clock runs out