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Whitmer defends her 3.5B bond plan; plan approved by Transportation Commission

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 13:42:21-05

LANSING, Mich. — On Thursday the Michigan State Transportation Commission unanimously approved Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s $3.5B bond plan to fix and rebuild highways across the state of Michigan.

The plan comes less than a day after Gov. Whitmer announced the plan during her second State of the State address as governor.

Whitmer's new plan is a follow up to her initial plan, a 45 cent gas tax, which garnered little attraction.

"I put a plan on the table. No one embraced it or countered it with something thoughtful and substantive, and so I'm going forward to take care of the state roads," Whitmer said. "I can do that unilaterally and I'm going to."

Rep. Lee Chatfield, Speaker of the House, criticized Whitmer's plan Wednesday.

"I think it's safe to say there will be no serious road funding proposal from this administration," Chatfield said. "All we have seen is two things: One is a 45 cent gas tax, literally no one in the state supports. She couldn't even get someone from her own party to introduce it. Now she's talking about a financing tool of just taking out a loan. It's not a long term funding proposal."

Whitmer acknowledged Thursday that the bonds are a temporary fix, but argued Republicans haven't come up with a plan of their own.

"Inaction is expensive and it's dangerous and that's precisely what we've seen," Whitmer said. "That's why I'm taking this path now, to move some dirt and to get the solution started."

Whitmer also added that she doesn't want to take money out of other programs in order to fix the current road crisis.

"Anything that creates more problems than it solves, I don't think is a serious solution. You know, taking some money out of a teacher pension system to fill some potholes, I don't consider [that] a serious solution." Whitmer continued, "You're stealing from a different side of the two crisis' were confronting as a state.

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