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Gov. Whitmer "desperate" to avoid shutdown over budget

Posted at 5:41 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 20:39:45-04

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she and republican legislative leaders are "desperate" to avoid a government shutdown--after an ongoing stand-still over a budget.

The governor helped inspect a bridge in Reo Town Monday as a lasting effort to bring attention to crumbling infrastructure in Michigan.

The bridge is in poor condition with wires hanging out below the structure and patches of asphalt covering the cracks. MDOT distributes 48-million annually for bridge repairs, but the agency gets between $250 million and $300-million in requests.

"I think it's important that people know how serious the infrastructure crisis is. We're closing down bridges. We are weight restricting bridges, like this one here in Lansing.There are $44 million in projects to be done here in this area and only $8 million available. This bridge alone is a $3 million fix," Whitmer said.

So far, her proposed 45 cent fuel tax increase has gone nowhere and the next fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Lawmakers have not finalized a budget due to the impasse over road funding.

The governor says negotiating needs to become a priority.

"We have conversations going on right now, there's no negotiations, they have not shared a plan. I've read pieces of things that have been debated amongst themselves, but at the end of the day, they're gonna need democratic votes in the house, the senate and my signature to have a budget deal, and that's why we have to get serious about negotiating," Whitmer said.

Whitmer said she met with GOP leaders on Friday and she anticipates seeing their road-funding counter-proposal in the next week or so.

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