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Does Lansing have a post-Proposal 1 plan B?

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LANSING, Mich. – For months, Proposal 1 proponents told voters there was not "plan b" to fix the state's crumbling roads.

But last week voters sent a message of their own--overwhelmingly defeated Proposal 1. It appears Lansing heard them loud and clear--Michiganders are not amused with inaction and are tired of dodging craters in the roads.

So on Tuesday, the Michigan Senate said it's staying all summer to work on a fix and Wednesday House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) will unveil his fix for the roads in an afternoon news conference.

"What I'm going to roll out tomorrow is a roads and roads only plan," said Cotter. "It will address our roads funding challenges and it's simple, not in dollars, but in details." 

Cotter says the elements to the plan include tax fairness, revisiting restricted funds and general fund dollars as well as demanding quality road construction work.

Whether or not the tax fairness portion is a services tax or a reformulation of the gas tax remains to be seen.

What isn't in Cotter's plan is the idea floated by Rep. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby) to use interest from Michigan's $20 billion Catastrophic Claims Fund over the next couple years to fix the roads.

"I believe there are solutions and alternatives without tax increases," said Lucido.

Lucido's approach generated a lot of headlines and at first was dismissed but now it's being discussed but faces an amazing uphill climb among questions about whether the Catastrophic fund can even be used for other purposes.


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