Budget battle heats up between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Republicans in Lansing

Whitmer takes shots at Republicans during news conference

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks with the senate about poor education scores and pot-hole marked roads

LANSING, Mich. – Between the roads and the schools, there's plenty that needs to be fixed across the state of Michigan, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republicans can't agree on how to do it.

On Tuesday, Whitmer took shots at the other side during a news conference.

There are tours ongoing in Lansing, but the House and Senate are not in session, at least in person. The chambers are empty and there are meetings going on. Whitmer said there isn't a lot happening in the state's capital, and she's going hard after the members of the two chambers.

"The real work of getting a budget is the most important thing and they're not even in town as a body in either chamber," Whitmer said.

Whitmer said she is the only person who has put a real proposal on the table, though House Republicans dispute that claim.

Whitmer is attacking Republicans on her most passionate topics: Michigan's pockmarked roads and poor education scores.

"We talked all along that we were going to get this done before break, and here we are," Whitmer said. "They're off for the next two weeks and that's totally unconscionable and irresponsible and dangerous."

Local 4 caught up with higly unimpressed Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.

"I've got over half of our caucus here working specifically on roads and a budget, and so anybody who claims we're on vacation absolutely has their head in a place I'd prefer not to mention right now," Shirkey said.

In a statement Tuesday, House Speaker Lee Chatfield said, "We might be further along on roads if we had received a realistic proposal from the governor. A $2.5 billion tax hike on working families was a nonstarter, and so the House and Senate Republicans are taking their time to build the right plan instead of rushing a bad plan."

Whitmer also talked about a suggestion from House Republicans to sell the Blue Water Bridge as a way to raise revenue.

"If it's a nonstarter, you come back with another idea, and they haven't," Whitmer said. "Selling the Blue Water Bridge is insulting and it's baloney."

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.