Dem House Leader Says Roads Will Likely Wait Until After Elections

Jul 22, 2014

The top Democrat in the state House says a road funding solution will probably have to wait until after the November election.

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel says too many lawmakers are not willing to make the tough vote until they’re past their reelection bids. That’s because boosting infrastructure spending by more than a billion dollars a year would likely mean raising taxes to pay for it.

“I think there’s a very high likelihood that it doesn’t occur until lame duck, unfortunately,” said Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, on an appearance over the weekend on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record.

“It should be happening now during the summer,” he said. “It should have happened months ago. But because of that fear of some politicians in Lansing who don’t want to take a tough vote until after the election, unfortunately I think there’s some truth to that.”

Greimel says most Democrats will not vote for a tax increase on drivers unless Republican legislative leaders also agree to cut taxes for the poor and middle class.

“After the Republicans raised taxes, we need to see some reductions in people’s tax burdens if we’re going to go along with anything that resembles another tax increase.”

He has criticized Republican legislative leaders for breaking for the summer without hammering out a deal on road funding.