GOP Leaders Agree On Budget Without Road Deal With Whitmer

WWJ News
September 06, 2019 - 7:58 am

© Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Republican lawmakers in Lansing appear to have a budget framework that would halt a government shutdown.

Lawmakers intend to begin passing the bills despite not reaching a road-funding deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

"It looks like lawmakers are going to move forward with budget targets -- that is they told all the subcommittees for the department, the state police and welfare and stuff like that, 'Here's the number we want you to hit on the budget, go and hit it and we'll get the budget done,'" said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. "What they left out of this was a deal on the roads, which is what the governor wanted."

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says target spending levels were sent to the leaders of budget panels Thursday. Details need to hashed out by conference committees that are expected to vote next week.

The budget deadline is Oct. 1.

The move comes despite Whitmer saying she won't sign a budget unless it includes a "real fix" to boost spending on roads and education. She has proposed a 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike to fund road repairs and to reverse the diversion of other funds to the transportation budget.

 Republicans have rejected the proposal. Whitmer has accused them of not proposing viable alternatives.