Whitmer: Talks on raising money to fix Michigan's roads stalled

Whitmer: Talks on raising money to fix Michigan's roads stalled

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Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer said bipartisian talks on raising revenue to fix the roads are "going backwards to standing still." Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer said bipartisian talks on raising revenue to fix the roads are "going backwards to standing still."
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

The governor and the Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have been meeting privately trying to find some middle, bipartisan ground to raise new revenue to repair the roads.

Asked if any progress was being made, the governor wouldn't go there.

"I would say we're having discussions," he said.

"There is more arguing than discussing, isn't there?" I asked.

"People have different perspectives.  I view that as the natural consequence of things," the governor replied.

I also asked Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer whether the talks were making progress, going backwards or standing still.

"Going backwards to standing still," she said.  "It's very frustrating."

Here's the problem.  The governor does not have enough Republican votes to raise $1.2 billion for the roads, and he observes that Republicans have offered revenue raising solutions, but the Democrats have said nothing on that front.

"I would encourage both the House and Senate Democrats to come publicly out with proposals on this topic," Snyder said.

"And if they don't come out with one?" I asked.

"Well that's their choice," the governor responded.

Whitmer said until there is more trust, she is not about to offer anything.

"At this point, it doesn't make sense for us, the minority, to put something on the table when they can't even get critical mass on the governor's side of the aisle," she said.

The only bipartisanship in all this is the bad blood on both sides.  House Republican Leader Jase Bolger is upset with the House Democratic leader for calling Republicans terrorists in their private negotiations.

"That kind of political rhetoric is not only unnecessary, it's unproductive," Bolger said.

The governor wants all this wrapped up by the middle of June.  Given all this internal bickering, it's clear he is not there yet.

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