Road Fix Crashes Again
Once again a plan to fix Michigan roads that seemed to be back on track to correct long festering problems has careened into the ditch.
The latest plan included a 3.3 cent per gallon gas tax increase, a 40 percent spike for registration fees plus about $600 million from the states general fund.
Senate Republican leader Arlan Meekhof and Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter thought everyone was finally ready to put this ongoing nightmare behind us. The two made a deal and it seemed it was going to make it onto Governor Snyders desk but then the sniping began, again.
The obvious concern was the rejection by voters of better than 4 to 1 by voters of proposal 1 at the polls. Michigan residents rejected the idea of increasing taxes and fees by a very wide margin- an historic margin in fact.
The problems began percolating to the top. Complaints that most of the funding would not begin until 2018 and much of the money wouldn’t be there until 2021. Republicans began going public saying they would not be on board with the convoluted plan. At one point the GOP thought they could move the plan through without help from Democrats but that quickly faded away and it became obvious it would have to be bi-partisan.
The cue went out to the Democrats who are more interested in handicapping the Republicans than fixing the problem, to create a little more controversy and chaos. If you need evidence of this ongoing mindset just review the particulars around the midnight battle to remove Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. "I'm not voting for this, " proclaimed Senator Curtis Hertel a Lansing Democrat.
Let’s be honest- the Democrats would be perfectly fine with letting the roads turn to dust by November of 2018, when they would like to ride to the rescue and re-claim the Governors mansion. Make no mistake if that happens and who could say at this point it won’t, the Dem plan would also reach deeply into your pocket for funding. It might even be deeper than it’s gone so far.
At this point we will have to watch to see what Arlan Meekhof and Kevin Cotter will do to get this plan or any plan pulled out of the ditch.