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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Updated State Road Plan Does Not Include More Money

I-96, Highway, bridge
I-96 in Ingham County

The state Department of Transportation has just released a new 5-year plan to maintain and fix Michigan’s roads.

The rolling five-year plan for road repairs is updated every year. This year’s plan does not include the additional money Governor Gretchen Whitmer has requested to fix roads.

Jeff Cranson is with the transportation department. He said the plan does not take into account the governor’s request to the Legislature for more road funding.

“With the governor’s plan, very thoughtful plan, we could expedite, move up a lot of these things, add a lot more things into this five-year plan and adapt quickly,” said Cranson.

The Democratic governor has asked for a 45-cent increase in Michigan’s fuel tax. That would generate an additional $2.5 billion dollars in the first year for road repairs.

The gas tax hike has proven to be a tough sell with Republicans, who control the state Legislature. GOP leaders say fixing roads is a top priority. But they’re looking for other ways to raise the money.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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