Lansing's new road funding plan still in neutral
State law makers can still not agree on $600 million in budget cuts for road repairs. But there are plans to raise vehicle registration by as much as $30 a year and hike the gas tax by .5 cents a gallon.
House Republicans called on the Democratic Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to help pass a road fix plan that could include a .5 cent gas tax hike and $20 to $30 car registration fee boost.
You instinctively know it's going to be a bumpy day when they bring in the free pizza for lawmakers to munch on.
The order of the day was to stand around waiting for the House GOP Speaker to cobble together the 55 votes to fix the roads.
It was clear that the speaker needed Democrats to get it, according to the House Democratic leader. Tim Greimel.
Because the Republicans needed Democratic votes, that's why the mayor of Detroit was in the Capitol. He and other mayors were pushing for a tax increase for the roads, but as the mayor observes he was not twisting any arms to get them.
"I'm not twisting any arms right now," Duggan said. "I'm spending more time with Republicans than I am the Democrats. I just want to work with everyone to fix the roads which are good for the state of Michigan and Detroit."
As the day wore on, it looked like a .5 cent gas tax hike would be part of the solution along with a car registration fee hike.
One of the key negotiators says that about .63 cents a week for the gas tax hike.
"That's a pretty good investment," said Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville). "Especially if you lose a tire that's $200. When you lose the rack and pinion on your car and that could be a couple thousand. A .63 cent investment is a pretty good bargain."
Skubick: "And a registration fee hike?
"We are looking at a registration fee hike of $20 or $30, so the whole package will cost about $60 a year," he said.
There were about nine Detroit Democrats and three more Democrats willing to vote with the Republicans with a guarantee that revenue sharing for the cities would not be cut. And they got it.
But there was no decision reached by the end of session on Wednesday.