Not just predictable. Predicted.
The dust hadn’t even settled on the epic crash and burn of Michigan’s Proposal 1 yesterday when Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter began discussing his plans for slashing the budgets of other areas to come up with over a billion dollars needed to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges.
He gave a glimpse into his thinking on the House Republicans’ webpage:
Yesterday, the people of Michigan were heard loud and clear: focus on the roads, find a simple solution and keep taxes low. Today, the challenge is to follow their direction and find a way to properly invest in Michigan’s infrastructure and fix the roads.
“Keep taxes low” is, of course, code for making draconian cuts in the state budget to divert funds from things like education and social safety net programs to fix the roads.
Cotter’s has four “key focus points for roads”, only two of which actually are about the roads and two of which are about not raising taxes: “Fair taxes”, “Using existing dollars”, “Better prioritize road funding”, and “Ensure quality work”.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Cotter said, funds for road repair “shouldn’t all come from new revenue. It should be very heavily dependent on existing revenues.”
At least they are predictable.
Today, House Democrats went to Lansing to start the discussions on what comes next after the demise of Prop 1. Unfortunately, they went alone. Republican House leadership scheduled the day off so GOP representatives could attend the Tulip Time festival in Holland. Meanwhile, Governor Snyder leaves for New York City tomorrow for several days.
That’s how serious they are about getting this done.
“Unfortunately, rather than getting back to work, House Republicans took a vacation day,” House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel said in a statement. “My Democratic colleagues and I can’t accept that. Our constituents expect us to work for them, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
It’s going to be a long two years…
Adding… Cotter also said that Republicans will be introducing road fix bills in the next few days. It’s funny isn’t it? They haven’t been able to find the funds to do this or a path forward for the past four years yet now that they know they have the voters’ permission to raid other areas in the state budget, they are suddenly ready to move quickly. Funny how that works.