Skubick: Senate working on their own road plan

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – A house approved plan to fix the roads has opened to mixed reviews in the republican controlled senate.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick has been following this story.

“It has some good points to it. I hope it’s a negotiating point, a starting point.”

Even the GOP Speaker concedes what cleared the house yesterday is not the final road fix product. Rep. Kevin Cotter calls it a “significant and big step.”

Senate republicans are drafting their own plan that will likely include new tax revenue beyond the $38 million in the house package.

This republican senator is uncomfortable using possible future economic revenue growth to fix the roads.

He wonders what happens if the growth slows down.

“If it slows down, you’ve just told the people we’re going to put $900 million in the roads but now its $400 million. At the end of the day that’s not going to fix our roads,” said Senator Wayne Schmidt (R), Traverse City.

Reporter: “You need a reliable revenue stream.”
Senator Schmidt: “That’s correct.”

And the governor agrees.

Democrats are especially upset that the house republicans halted a tax credit for needy families.

“The average income is still down and to go after poor people to fix the roads is a non-starter with my caucus and with me,” said Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. (D), Lansing.

“EITC is a welfare program. You don’t have to pay taxes to get it. Its only about $140. It’s something that could be cut and not have a lot of effect,” said Senator Rick Jones (R), Grand Ledge.
Reporter: “Democrats say igs on the backs of the poor.”
Senator Jones: ‘That’s political rhetoric.”

Meanwhile the senate democrats complain the republicans won’t negotiate a bipartisan deal.

“They seem to want to do it themselves. They want 20 votes for their plan that doesn’t sound like they want to work in a bipartisan way,” said Senator Jim Ananich (D), Senate Leader.

The republican budget chair says that’s not true.

Suffice it to say, the senate road fix will change what the house did.

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