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New road deal on the Lansing horizon

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LANSING, Mich. – For the first time in a long time, there may actually be a road deal that could pass both chambers of the Michigan Legislature.

"I think there is a real opportunity," said Gov. Snyder on whether he could see a vote on this soon. "The meetings we've been having with both the House and the Senate and the leadership of both chambers in a bipartisan way has been constructive. Each meeting there is incremental improvements. We're getting toward solutions. It's going on a positive path."

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Closed-door meetings with the leadership continued this week.

The framework is in place and looks a lot like what Michiganders have seen in the past two years: a moderate gas tax increase, registration fee increases and budget cuts.

People will end up paying more, but enough money will be generated for a real infrastructure fix.

The difference this time around is the bipartisan nature of the talks -- and, according to political strategist Dennis Darnoi, this is where the plan will either live or die.

"It will require typical horse trading," said Darnoi. "The only way this is going to get done is by increasing taxes and that won't happen only with Republicans; what are you willing to give the Democrats for that vote?"

Many House Republicans have signed anti-tax pledges and will not budge.

Leadership sources said either this is a bipartisan effort or they will not bring it to a vote.

Political time is running out as well. The closer it gets to December, the closer it gets to a new year with elections for some in the state house – nobody is voting for a tax increase in an election year.


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