Senate budget boosts roads, but far short of Whitmer's plan

Posted at 6:02 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 18:02:18-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A transportation budget advancing in Michigan's Legislature would boost road spending, but far short of the $1.9 billion net increase proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A Senate-controlled subcommittee approved the bill Tuesday, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed.

It does not include revenue from the Democratic governor's proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase, which has been rejected by GOP lawmakers. The Senate plan would fully implement 2015 road-funding laws a year earlier, so $132 million more is spent in the next fiscal year.

Senate Republicans plan to outline an alternative road-funding plan this summer.

A Democrat on the subcommittee says Republicans are "chicken" and "took the easy way out" despite terrible roads. But the Republican chairman says it would have been irresponsible to include money "we don't know we'll have."