Monday, September 9, 2019

Whitmer breaks pledge to 'fix the damn roads' under new budget

Posted By on Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 1:47 PM

click to enlarge Michigan's damn roads still need to be fixed. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Michigan's damn roads still need to be fixed.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer already broke her promise to veto a budget that omitted money to "fix the damn roads," her 2018 gubernatorial campaign pledge.

With a partial government shutdown looming, Whitmer announced Monday that she’s working with the Republican-dominated Legislature to hammer out the 2020 budget.

In a joint statement Monday, Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, and House Speaker Lee Chatfield said their "number one priority is getting a budget passed."

"The people of Michigan deserve leadership in Lansing that will work to continue providing them with services they depend on every day," they said. "In conversations over the weekend, we’ve agreed that the best course of action is to immediately begin target-setting with legislative and executive leadership to get a budget passed by October 1st. We have all agreed to continue conversations about road funding in a meaningful way and table all associated issues for the time being."

In March, Democrat Whitmer proposed raising the fuel tax by 45 cents per gallon to generate $2.5 billion for road repairs. But the plan was widely criticized by Republicans and many Michigan residents.

In the meantime, Republicans have offered no realistic alternatives.

Until this weekend, Whitmer said she would not approve a budget that omitted a realistic solution to funding roads.

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