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Transportation & Infrastructure

As state House gets set to take up roads, Dem leader criticizes Senate plan

Three large potholes filled with water in a road
Michael Gil
Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg
The freeze-thaw cycle brings potholes to Michigan roadways.

Democrats in the state Legislature are criticizing Republican plans to boost road funding. That’s as the House gets set to take up the debate next week.

The state Senate approved a plan last week that would boost the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon over three years and shift $700 million from other areas of the budget. It also includes a possible rollback in the state income tax rate.

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) says all of those things unfairly shift the burden to low and middle-income people.

“It’s yet another example of Republican policies favoring the wealthy and well-connected over everyday people in our state,” he said.

“We believe that it’s time for corporations to step up, contribute more. They’re the ones with the heavy trucks doing most of the damage to our roads.”

Greimel is also uneasy with the fact that the Senate roads plan does not prescribe where the $700 million in fund shifts would come from. Republican leaders say it would be up to lawmakers to go back and make those decisions after the legislation is approved.

“If we’re serious about finding savings in the General Fund – and there may be some savings we can find – let’s have that adult conversation now and find where that money’s going to come from and make those priority decisions,” said Greimel.

A number of House Republicans also say they oppose the Senate road funding plan. They say they won’t support raising taxes for roads.

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