House Budget Ignores Governor's Road and Medicaid Plans

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

While there's no agreement yet on next year's spending plans, Michigan drivers seem to share the same opinion about the state's roads.

"I think they're horrible," said one driver.

Others complained about potholes and damages done to their cars.

The governor and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle also agree that Michigan's roads need some work. However, there's still no agreement on how to pay for it, even as the budget process took a major step forward on Wednesday. Gov. Snyder had proposed increasing gas taxes and license plate fees to pay for road repair.

"Our caucus is not going to support any funding proposal that unduly and unfairly burdens middle class," said Rep. Tim Greimel, D-House Minority Leader.

"We still have a large unanswered question in terms of how are we going to pay for the roads," said Ari Adler, spokesperson for House Speaker Jase Bolger.

That's not the only sticking point. The governor wants to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, to cover 320,000 Michiganders in the first year. Democrats support him on that, but House Republicans have no plans to include the expansion in their budget.

"There is a concern about the federal government not holding up its end of the bargain...We know they will cover it 100% for the first three years, after that it drops towards 90%. We have no guarantee it won't go below 90% at some point," said Adler.

Meanwhile, the governor says he's open to hearing other options, but is staying hopeful some of his initiatives will pass.

"The goal is to by the end of May, the first part of June is to get a budget and I think we'll make a progress on a lot of those fronts by the time that rolls around," said Gov. Snyder.


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