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Road Funding A Priority For Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

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Snyder hopes Legislature will tackle road funding in "lame duck"

Fresh of a re-election victory that also saw more Republicans elected to the Legislature, Governor Rick Snyder is developing plans for the next four years. But he says the Legislature should not wait for the new year to approve some sort of plan to raise more than a $1 billion dollars in revenue for roads and transit projects.

"My top priority with respect to the legislative agenda is comprehensive transportation funding," says Snyder. "We need to do something about our roads ... and I would hope to do something about that even this year."

The governor says he hopes lawmakers will be more receptive to a funding solution now that the 2014 elections are in the rearview mirror. Several efforts to cobble together a road funding package stalled this year. Both the state House and the state Senate will remain under GOP control when the new session begins in January with even larger GOP majorities.

Snyder says road problems only become more expensive to fix with time. A critical mass of Republicans - and some Democrats -- oppose raising fuel taxes or fees to pay for roads. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has been a leading advocate for increased road funding. Leaders of the Republican-allied organization say, if necessary, they'll lead a ballot drive to force lawmakers to deal with road funding.

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.