GOP leaders may present road funding proposal Thursday

According to the governor, two GOP leaders may present their solution for fixing the roads on Thursday.

"I'm going to be meeting with the two leaders tomorrow. I anticipate that they'll be putting some solutions on the table finally," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

The governor was going into a closed door conversation with state employees earlier Wednesday, but paused long enough to address a new wrinkle in the conversation on how to fix the roads, and who should make the tough decision to raise new revenue for those roads.

Back in 1994, then-Gov. John Engler got lawmakers to eliminate the property tax for funding schools and then instead of lawmakers voting to raise the taxes to replace that lost revenue. They instead put an income tax and sales tax hike on the statewide ballot and the voters picked the sales tax.

The governor is not taking a stance on this duel ballot idea concept as she doesn't rule it in or out.

"We'll see," Whitmer said.

From a political standpoint, deflecting the tax increase question to the voters takes the lawmakers off the hook from making that tough vote. They can say: we didn't raise your taxes -- you did. The governor has some critical thoughts about that deflection.

"I think it is abdicating the responsibility of the legislatures. That's what they're hired to do. That's what the people of this state said: fix the damn roads. They didn't say go off and enjoy your summer and come back and force us to do the heavy lifting," she said.

The two GOP leaders have not indicated what they will propose, but the Senate leader was looking at a 20 cent a gallon gas tax hike phased in over four to six years. However, that doesn't raise the $2.5 billion the governor wants.

As for that possible 20 cent tax hike and using the teacher retirement debt fund to raise some road dollars:

"It all depends on what else are the pieces of it. I've said pretty clearly all along I'm not going to make our kids and our teachers pay to fix the roads," Whitmer said.

On the eve of this possible breakthrough meeting, the governor is still not happy about lawmakers not being in town this summer.

"It's just insulting. It's maddening and it's incredibility irresponsible," she said.