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Road Funding Deal May Have To Wait

Andrew Cluley

Gov. Snyder eyes road funding deal this week

Gov. Rick Snyder wants a road funding solution on his desk by the end of this week.

Lawmakers will meet three days this week before they're expected to go on their summer break.

One of the governor's biggest priorities in his first term has been to boost infrastructure spending by more than $1 billion a year. But with political campaigns about to heat up over the summer, a legislative deal still hasn't materialized.

The governor does not want the issue to stay unresolved until the fall - or later.

"I hope this week we have an opportunity to get roads done," Snyder told reporters Monday. "And it's something I think our citizens really want. It's common sense."

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they're not ready to support a significant tax increase to boost infrastructure spending.
But Snyder says people are ready to pay more for better roads.

"I think after pothole season this year, a lot of people are convinced we need to invest more," he said. "So, let's get something done in these last three days that we can be proud of and not let politics be something that can take it off track."

Democrats say they'd consider voting for a tax increase for roads if the governor promises protections for the poor and the middle class. That could include increasing tax credits for the working poor or making a promise not to sign a repeal of Michigan's prevailing wage law. That law guarantees union wages and benefits for people working on state-funded construction projects.

Democrats say the governor so far has not been willing to negotiate with them on those items to reach a deal on roads.