Snyder: No “Plan B” for road funding proposal, state-run health exchange possible

Mar 9, 2015

Gov. Rick Snyder took questions from public listeners for an hour on Monday on Michigan Public Radio’s call-in program Michigan Calling.

  Gov. Rick Snyder says there’s no backup plan to boost road funding if voters reject a sales tax increase in May.

Snyder urged listeners to vote “yes” on the measure during an appearance on Michigan Public Radio’s statewide call-in program “Michigan Calling.”

“If we don’t, I think we’re actually going to go backwards in terms of where we are about getting a solution,” Snyder told host Rick Pluta. “Because if the voters go out and vote down a tax increase, individual legislators are probably going to be more hesitant to talk about a tax increase than they were even before.”

“Because of the legislative process and how we worked through it, there isn’t a good Plan B.”

Opponents of the May ballot proposal say there’s nothing stopping lawmakers from finding other ways to fix Michigan’s roads. They criticize the plan because it would increase money for things other than roads, such as schools, local governments, and public transportation.

State-run health exchange

Later in the program, the governor would not rule out renewing talks to set up a state-run health care exchange. The federal government runs Michigan’s exchange because lawmakers did not create one.

The governor unsuccessfully asked state lawmakers multiple times to approve a state-run exchange before the federal health care law took full effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments this week about whether people in states where the federal government runs the exchange are eligible for subsidies.

Officials say tens of thousands of Michiganders would likely not be able to afford health insurance if the court rules against the subsidies.

“That raises a question, should we be looking at a state exchange again? And that’s a dialogue I’d have to have with the Legislature,” said Snyder.

“That’s a fair question that would have to be asked, assuming the decision comes out in an adverse fashion.”

However, Snyder said it would be “premature” to start any discussions before the Supreme Court rules on the case.