Expect Republicans to stand in way of Snyder's road fee hike

Skubick: Expect Republicans to stand in way of Snyder's road fee hike

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By Tim Skubick
FOX 2 Political Analyst

LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -- Governor Rick Snyder made a little history in last night's State of the State address. For the first time in some 27 years a sitting governor stood before the house and senate and endorsed raising more revenue. This would be for the roads. He was careful not to label it a tax hike, preferring instead the term user fee. What's the old saying about a duck?

The last time a sitting governor did that was former Gov. Jim Blanchard who, during his first years in office, embraced an extremely unpopular income tax hike. Mr. Blanchard eventually got what he wanted, but the read on Mr. Snyder repeating history is iffy at best. Get real, the fee hike is in deep doo-doo.

It's not because it's a lousy idea; everybody knows the roads are crumbling faster than the Lion's defense.  But voting for stuff in this town because it's good public policy is one of the last reasons that legislators consider. There are other more pressing issues such as self-preservation.

House members are safely in office for two more years, but now the GOP senators are running for their political lives which makes it tough for the governor to round up votes.

For example in a pre-speech pitch, the governor went behind closed doors with the House and Senate GOP caucuses. Let's just say they were not bouncing up and down for joy.

One wag in town quickly labeled it the Birthday Tax because the state sends the registration fee bill right around your 'B-day.'

So what kind of reception did he get if not unbridled enthusiasm?

"I will give him a fair hearing," advised conservative Macomb County GOP Rep. Peter Lund.  That was code for he is not ready to vote 'yes.'

"I need to see the details," echoed another Macomb County anti-tax lawmaker Rep. Ken Goike. Seeing the details and voting 'yes' are two different animals.

Watching all this, with some glee, are legislative Democrats.  They know, that he knows that he needs them and the D's are not ready to bail the governor out.  Why should they because they like him?

On the contrary, the loyal opposition has probably figured out that it can develop a list of demands . If Snyder meets them, they might vote for road revenue. If he doesn't, forget it.

Give him credit. His passion was palpable when he called on everyone to set politics aside and do something for the people. It was his best rift but the reality is, what he wants lots of Republican's don't.

Which means the Democrats have him sprawled over a barrel. And there's another old saying, turnabout is fair play.

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