Gov. Whitmer walks away from budget talks

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she won't sign a "status-quo" budget, stepping up...
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she won't sign a "status-quo" budget, stepping up her criticism of Republican legislative leaders for "not offering a viable alternative to her proposed 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike to fix the roads (Source WILX) (WILX)
Published: Sep. 12, 2019 at 5:57 PM EDT
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer tells News 10 on Thursday why she walked away from negotiations with Republican leaders --less than three weeks before the state is forced to shut down.

Gov. Whitmer says Republicans aren't serious about fixing the roads or passing a budget.

She says they've repeatedly failed to come up with their own solution after rejecting her proposal to raise the gas tax 45 cents per-gallon.

Now she's talking again about putting the issue on the ballot so voters can decide.

"I don't think it's too early to say you know they have made representations that they'll be interested in talking about a longer term road funding solution after the budgets done we'll see," says Gov. Whitmer.

First, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey of Jackson County insinuated the governor wasn't putting forth a genuine effort to compromise on the budget.

Thursday the Gov. Whitmer said the same about the Republicans.

"To come back and say we want all of a sudden put some one time money does not fix the problem. In fact, it makes it more expensive to do the work because there's not the ability to plan after all of sudden ramp up."

Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox put out a statement saying, "Yet again Gov. Whitmer has shown that it's her way or no highways." But the Gov. Whitmer says she can't get the Republicans to put an alternative gas tax hike on the table.

"There is no real substantive plan out of the Republicans to fix the road problem. I've done my job. Now it's time for them to do theirs"

With days left until the government runs out of money, both sides are digging in and getting ready to blame each other for what happens next.

"I've told the public I'm gonna be honest about the size of the problem and I'm going to work to have real solutions," says Gov. Whitmer.

Shirkey's Office told News 10 he was too busy for an interview.

We checked with several other local Republican lawmakers, none of them would talk either.

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