Clock Ticking On Finalizing State Budget

Lawmakers will go back to work in Lansing next week, and the top issue on the agenda will be finalizing a budget. It will include funding to fix the state’s roads, something both Democrats and Republicans agree needs to happen. House Democratic Floor Leader Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor says work needs to get started now.

“Legislators are on break, and that’s unacceptable to me,” said Rabhi. “We need to get back to work, roll up our sleeves, and find a solution here, and that solution has to include new revenue for the state.”

While Governor Whitmer has proposed a 45¢ per gallon increase in fuel taxes, that has been a non-starter for lawmakers of both parties. There are reports out of Lansing that House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey will be presenting a plan for a 15¢ per gallon tax on fuel, wiping out the current sales tax formula that split money up between roads, schools, and local governments.

Sources tell the Michigan News Network the plan is expected to bring in $1.2 billion a year to go along with the $1.2 billion extra approved by the last Legislature, getting Governor Whitmer nearly to the $2.5 billion she’s seeking for the roads. The deadline for completing the budget is September 30th.