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Whitmer, GOP leadership agree to focus on budget without deal on roads

Posted at 8:10 AM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-09 09:43:50-04

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and top Republican leaders in the state Legislature have agreed to focus on a passing a state budget, according to the governor's office.

The two sides have been at odds over road funding.

The governor is proposing a 45-cent per gallon gas tax hike.

Republicans have repeatedly denied Governor Whitmer's plan.

Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, and House Speaker Lee Chatfield released a joint statement Monday morning saying they've agreed to set aside any deal on road funding and will focus solely on passing a budget.

“The people of Michigan deserve leadership in Lansing that will work to continue providing them with services they depend on every day. In conversations over the weekend, we’ve agreed that the best course of action is to immediately begin target-setting with legislative and executive leadership to get a budget passed by October 1st. We have all agreed to continue conversations about road funding in a meaningful way and table all associated issues for the time being. Right now, our number one priority is getting a budget passed. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and negotiating on behalf of the people of Michigan."

If state officials don't agree on a budget before the deadline, the state government would shut down for the first time since 2009.

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