Courser and Gamrat departure from House could have impact on road funding talks

Sep 14, 2015

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state House returns this week with two fewer members.

The House expelled Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser resigned late last week due to a sex-and-cover-up scandal.

Speaker Kevin Cotter says lawmakers can focus on roads now that the scandal is no longer a distraction.

“We are now ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead including road funding and other issues,” he told reporters shortly after the vote to expel Gamrat early Friday morning.

Cotter’s spokesperson later echoed those comments.

“There’s going to be a better chance for public feedback now that people will be able to follow the issue more closely instead of being distracted by a sex scandal,” said Gideon D’Assandro.

Any road funding plan will also now require fewer votes to pass the House. Courser and Gamrat were reliable “no” votes on any plan that raised taxes. Although, D’Assandro admits legislative leaders and Governor Rick Snyder are not close to finalizing a roads deal.