Skubick: How Will Lawmakers Fix Michigan’s Roads?

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The voters have spoken.

Proposal 1 was defeated by an overwhelming margin Tuesday night.

Now 85 percent of Michigan voters want Governor Rick Snyder to call a special session for lawmakers to come back to Lansing and work on a new solution.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick is on the story and says the idea is in play, but there’s no agreement on how to get the money to fix our roads.

After the governor tossed in the towel on Proposal 1 after 80 percent of the voters said no thanks.

Democrats are complaining that there was no sense of urgency in the GOP controlled house and senate as some lawmakers were in Holland at the tulip festival.

“I think it has been a standard thing as long as I’ve been here. It’s my third term. They’ve done it every year, so I don’t think it had anything to do with the election,” said state representative Ben Clardon (r), Owosso.

“It’s a shame that the republicans have chosen to tip toe through the tulips over in Holland instead of coming to Lansing and doing their work,” said state representative Tim Greimel (d), house leader.
Reporter: “Some say it’s a tradition.”
Rep. Greimel: “There are more important things than tradition.”

Normally the legislature is off during July and August with only two days on the schedule.

The house democratic leader and his senate counterpart are willing to work during the summer, but given a chance to say he would order the lawmakers to stay in town, the governor punted.

“That’s largely a question for the house and senate. They set their schedule,” said Governor Rick Snyder.

The House Republican Speaker says he’s open to a summer session but wants to get this done as quickly as possible

EPIC-MRA pollster Bernie Porn reports that 64 percent of the voters would favor a “stand-alone” sales tax increase of one penny if and only if, all the money went to the roads.

The Republican Speaker is not sure the states crumbling roads can wait until another possible statewide vote on the sales tax in November even though the citizens might go for that stand-alone option.

“The sales tax was viewed as the best source for new revenue, but I think now that has been largely taken off the table because while they may not be opposed to a stand-alone plan, we have to be sensitive to the timing as costs go up by the day,” Kevin Cotter (r), house speaker.

As for the house democrats, is the sales tax option dead?

“I think legislators are going to be very reluctant to put a sales tax option before voters after the resounding defeat yesterday and I think people want legislators to do our jobs,” said Rep. Greimel.

Workers are busy fixing the state Capitol dome; they say they’ll be done in September. The question is will the folks working under the dome get a road fix by then? Good question, without an answer.

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