Whitmer won't accept 'status quo' in road, budget talks

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)
By  | 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- 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.

The Democratic governor held a news conference Wednesday, about a month before the state budget deadline. She says GOP lawmakers are "screwing around" and have not offered a legitimate plan nearly six months after she made her proposal. She criticized their call to shift money for schools to the transportation budget.

She also officially ruled out taking longer to address unfunded liabilities in the Public School Employees' Retirement System to free up revenue for roads.

Whitmer says she refuses to "kick the can down the road."

“I’m working day and night to get a deal that will make bold, meaningful investments in our schools and infrastructure,” said Governor Whitmer. “The problems we’re facing are decades in the making, and they’re a result of leaders in Lansing kicking the can down the road and using School Aid Fund dollars to fill gaps in the budget. That changes this year. I’m not going to sign a budget that doesn’t include a real fix. It’s time for Republicans to stop playing games, come to the table, and negotiate a real solution.”

Republicans say drivers oppose a 45-cent gas tax increase.

To view the full press conference, click here.>/b>

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.