House Speaker says he’s “very optimistic” about road funding deal
A road repair funding dispute continues to stall the approval of the state’s 2020 budget. The deadline for approving a budget is October 1. But agreement on a new budget has so far eluded Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the GOP-led legislature, hung-up on the major snag of how to fund road repairs.
The Democratic governor says she won't sign a budget that doesn't include a "real plan" to fix the roads. And Whitmer says Republican lawmakers have yet to offer up a viable alternative to her 45-cent gas tax hike.
Republican State House Speaker Lee Chatfield disputes the idea that Republicans have not come up with any real alternatives. He points to the House budget, which was passed earlier this year, and put nearly $900 million toward road funding from sales taxes at the pump.
Chatfield says he’s going to continue to work with Governor Whitmer to come up with a road funding deal that will allow the state to pass a budget, but he says it will not include the 45-cent gas tax.
“I am very optimistic we’re going to have a roads plan,” Chatfield said. “We’re going to have an agreement. It might not be everything I want. I can tell you it might not be everything the governor wants.”
Listen to Stateside’s full conversation with Republican State House Speaker Lee Chatfield above.