Whitmer promises to build bi-partisan bridges to fix roads

(WXYZ) - Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer promised to fix the roads, but will she be able to keep her promise?

“People sent a really clear message. They want us to fix the damn roads,” said Whitmer during a press conference on the day after election day.

She faces many roadblocks to accomplishing her campaign promise. One is politics.

“She is a Democrat, and they are a Republican legislature,” said Pat Piskulich, Oakland University Political Science and Public Policy Professor.

Piskulich says the way the process works— the legislature controls funding.

“They have the power of the purse, so they have the ability to say no also,” said Piskulich.

“The people of Michigan elected me to be their governor. I am going to use every lever of power in the office to accomplish the agenda I ran on. That is what people expect,” said Whitmer.

She said she is going to build bridges between Republicans and Democrats to accomplish her goals. 

Later in the day, she sat down with Governor Rick Snyder.  She said she is planning to have regular meetings with the leaders of the Republican-controlled state house and senate. 

She says she will ask them for ideas on how to create a regular source of infrastructure funding.

“I need legislative partners to help me get that done.  If they are not strong enough to do it, I will go to the voters and ask them for a bond, but first and foremost I want to sit down with the legislature and ask how do we do this.'

A bond would create a debt that would have to eventually be paid off.  The question is will voters support that?  

7 Action News spoke to voters who supported and opposed Whitmer. They voiced concerns about tax increases that could come as the state funds the roads.

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