LANSING, Mich. -- House and senate leaders met three times on Wednesday to discuss funding for Michigan's roads.
Lawmakers have been meeting with Governor Snyder behind closed doors in his ceremonial office, however talks keep breaking down. They've met on several other occasions in the past few days. The governor wants to raise $1.2 billion dollars a year over the next 10 years in order to pay for needed repairs.
A number of proposals are on the table, including increasing the gas tax. Instead, some lawmakers have suggested a plan that would divert money away from public schools and local governments. As an other alternative, the idea of placing the issue on the ballot before voters has also reportedly come up in the meetings.
Governor Snyder said it's tough to find the best option for raising the funds without 'harming' any one group.
He questioned, "How do we get enough revenue for roads? How do we do it without harming other groups? How do we manage the price on the pump? In longer term, it’d be great to have whatever’s on fuel be related to roads. So that’s striking the balance and that’s a tough combination.”
"This is horrible. This is an absolute shame. They talking bout going to a ballot initiative now. I mean this is just limp-wristed, yellow belly, jelly spine, weak leadership from the republican party," state senator Coleman Young (D- Detroit) said.
"I don’t know what Jase Bolger and the leadership [is] doing over there. We can not continue to look like something from Mad Max and the Thunderdome," he added.
Republican state senator Randy Richardville said, “You know [during] some negotiations… the closer the deadline, the better the result. We’re getting the deadline closer. So I’m optimistic that we’ll get something done. I just want to get as much bipartisan support as I can.”