The Michigan Senate has adjourned for much of the summer without a deal to pump more money into road improvements.
Talks broke down Thursday over a gradual gasoline tax increase to keep pace with inflationary construction costs, a day after the Republican-controlled Senate had defeated a major gas tax hike.
"It's desperately needed, the Republicans cannot agree on what package they want to put forward,. This is a very unfortunate issue for the citizens of Michigan and I think we need to come up with some sort of arrangement to get it done," says Senator Jim Ananich.
Thursday's plan would have let the 19-cents-a-gallon gas rise each year by the annual change in highway construction costs. Fuel taxes could go as high as 32 1/2 cents a gallon, though it could have been decades before the ceiling was hit.
"It's a difficult vote, it's an election year, but sooner or later, you've got to bite the bullet, do the difficult thing, and I've been a proponent that there's got to be increased revenue in order to finish this problem," says Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.
The plan wouldn't have come close to raising the minimum $1.2 billion more a year that Gov. Rick Snyder says is needed to bring roads up to par.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:11:15 GMT
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