State leaders scramble for road solution after Proposal 1 landslide loss

About 85 percent of Michigan voters want the governor to call a special session of the legislature to work on the road issue.

Now that residents have turned down Proposal 1,  FOX 2's Tim Skubick reports that the idea has been embraced, but there's no agreement how to raise the revenue to fix the roads.

After Gov. Rick Snyder tossed in the towel on proposal one after 80 percent of the voters said no thanks.

Democrats are complaining that there was no sense of urgency in the GOP-controlled House and Senate as some lawmakers were in Holland at the Tulip Festival.

"I think it has been a standard thing as long as I've been here," said State Rep. Ben Clardon, (R-Owosso). "It's my third term. They've done it every every so I don't think it had anything to do with the election."

"It's a shame that the Republicans have chosen to tip toe through the tulips over in Holland instead of coming to Lansing and doing their work," said State Rep. Tim Greimel (D-House leader). "There are more important things than tradition."

Normally the legislature is off during July and August with only two days on the schedule.

The House Democratic leader and his Senate counterpart are willing to work during the summer.

But given a chance to say he would order the lawmakers to stay in town, Snyder punted.

"That's largely a question for the House and Senate," Snyder said. "They set their schedule."

The House GOP Speaker says he's open to a summer session but wants to get this done as quickly as possible.

EPIC MRA pollster Bernie Porn reports that 64 percent of the voters would favor a "stand alone" sales tax increase of one penny if and only if, all the money went to the roads.

The GOP speaker is not sure the state's crumbling roads can wait until another possible statewide vote on the sales tax in November, even though residents might go for that  stand alone option.

"The sales tax was viewed as the best source for new revenue," Cotter said. "It's something not just on the backs of Michigan citizens because people who come here - unlike registration fees - would have a chance to assist us in our road building efforts.

"But I think now that has been largely taken off the table because while they may not be opposed to a stand alone plan, We have to be sensitive to the timing as costs go up by the day."

As for the house democrats, is the sales tax option dead?

"I think legislators are going to be reluctant to put a sales tax option before the voters after the resounding defeat yesterday," Greimel said. "I think people want legislators to do our jobs."

Meanwhile the leader of the opposition to Proposal 1 warns that before the governor and legislature talk about raising taxes, they should hunt for money in the state budget to help fix the roads first. 

While Paul Mitchell does not endorse another sales tax vote, he did not rule it out, either.

While workers are busy fixing the state capitol dome, they will be done in September. The question is, will the folks working under the dome get a road fix by then?  Stay tuned.
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