Skubick: Snyder's roads plan will be a hard sell - FOX 32 News Chicago

Skubick: Snyder's roads plan will be a hard sell

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By Tim Skubick
Fox 2 News

LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -- Governor Rick Snyder wants to raise over a billion dollars a year to repair the state's roads and bridges, but already he is running into some roadblocks.

Senator Jack Brandenburg remains to be convinced.

"Yes.  I think that's a good assessment," he says.  "I'm going to keep an open mind."

Snyder is getting lots of open minds, but not a lot of yes votes.

The governor's $1.5 billion a year plan for repairing the roads and fixing other infrastructure projects will be a hard sell.  Many Republicans have signed the so-called "no tax pledge", and even though the governor calls this a fee increase, to those lawmakers it's still a tax hike.

Not even the Senate Republican leader is in sync with his governor.  Sure, they agree that something must be done, but the fee hikes, rejigging of the gas tax, well, Mr. Richardville is not there yet.

The governor has embraced a two pronged strategy.  Lawmakers would first vote before March 7 for his program, but then they would also vote to place on the May ballot a two cent sales tax increase.  If the voters approve that, then the governor's fee hikes would not take effect.

But the Senate Republican leader won't sign off on that, either.

"I'm not going to hurry it through so that we can have an arbitrary date.  I want to make sure when we do this, we do it right," says Richardville.

"I'm not committed to anything regarding this package of bills so far or transportation funding in general," he adds.

To complicate matters, the governor will need Democratic votes to pass his plan, which means he may have to do some horse trading.

"Lots of things come together when you're trying to move something forward, and you need friends on both sides," says Senator Rebekah Warren.

Even the governor knows without Democrats, there are not enough Republican votes to raise revenue for the roads.

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