Skubick: Republicans court Democrat votes to forge road fix plan

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – House Republicans called on the Democratic Mayor of Detroit to help pass a road fix plan that could include a 5 cents gas tax hike and $20 to $30 car registration fee boost.

You instinctively know it’s going to be a bumpy day when they bring in the free pizza for lawmakers to munch on.

The order of the day was to stand around waiting. Waiting for the House GOP Speaker to cobble together the 55 votes to fix the roads.

It was clear that the Speaker needed Democrats to get it, according to House Democratic leader Tim Greimel. “I think that’s right,” said Rep. Greimel.

Because the Republicans needed Democratic votes, that’s why the mayor of Detroit was in the Capitol.

He and other mayors were pushing for a tax increase for the roads, but as mayor Mike Duggan observes he was not twisting any arms to get them. “I’m not twisting any arms right now. I’m spending more time with Republicans than I am the Democrats as I just want to work with everyone to fix the roads which is good for the state of Michigan and Detroit.”

As the day wore on it looked like a five cent gas tax hike would be part of the solution along with a car registration fee hike.

Rep. Al Pscholka, one of the key negotiators, says that’s about 63 cents a week for the gas tax hike. “That’s a pretty good investment when you consider it costs a lot more, up to $1000 for car repairs,” said Rep. Scholka.

With the registration fee increase the whole package would cost about $60 a year.

There were about 9 Detroit Democrats and three more Democrats willing to vote with the Republicans with a guarantee that revenue sharing for the cities would not be cut. And they got it.

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