IMP road funding breaking news.pdf

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Road Funding Deal Could Be Roadkill After Meeting Between Snyder, Legislative Leaders The deal to raise more money for roads, one of Gov. Rick Snyder’s top priorities, looks to be dead – again – following a closed-door meeting on Wednesday between the governor and the four leaders of the legislative caucuses. The only question is: Was the deal essentially dead before the meeting or because of the meeting? Snyder, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe), Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing), House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) periodically meet for what’s known as quadrant meetings. Snyder wanted to talk about forward progress on road funding, sources told Inside Michigan Politics. But there wasn’t much to talk about. Whitmer and Greimel informed the Republicans that “trust is gone” in road funding negotiations, well-placed sources said. That’s because of what they see as purely partisan politics with Snyder signing legislation moving the Court of Claims from its perch in Democratic Ingham County, and the GOP-led Senate creating a committee to investigate unions’ responses to Right to Work. Snyder reiterated what he’s said publicly, that the Court of Claims legislation was a long talked-about reform, and not politically motivated, three sources said. Greimel and Whitmer weren’t very receptive of that argument. Eventually, Snyder and Bolger left the room, sources said. Quadrant meetings didn’t take place earlier this year, after Whitmer and Greimel felt betrayed by RTW and the rest of the Republicans’ lame duck agenda in December 2012. Now the Dems feel double-crossed again and don’t see a path forward on roads. But the counterpoint raised by some Republicans is that there never was a solution at hand. For one thing, their base doesn’t take kindly to tax increases, which would likely be part of any deal, although Bolger and House Republicans have been exploring alternatives. Sources argued that Democrats were caught flat-footed on the Court of Claims issue and are trying to make up ground. Now Republicans say it’s the Dems who are using that and RTW panel as an excuse to blame them for not having a road-funding deal. “The reason the Dems walk away from table changes constantly based on whatever issue upset them at the moment,” said Bolger spokesman Ari Adler. “We’ve yet to see any serious proposals from the Democrats on how to solve this problem.” Whitmer spokesman Bob McCann countered that his boss has “put more time and energy into solving the road funding issue than anyone else in the Capitol this year.” "It's almost comical at this point to hear Republicans talk about their supposed interest in working across the aisle while at the same time they jam some of the most offensive and overtly political legislation through the Capitol that our state has ever seen,” McCann said.


                     





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