GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer says raising the gas tax to 45 cents per gallon would not only fix the roads, but also help children get a better education.
During a presentation Friday in Grand Rapids, the governor said the state government has been diverting money from education to repair the roads for several years.
“Over $500 million is being diverted out of the school aid fund to shore up the general fund which is filling the potholes,” she said.
According to Whitmer a 45 cent per gallon gas tax increase would raise enough to cover highway and infrastructure improvements, and the state could stop patching potholes with money that is supposed to go to schools.
“The Grand Rapids Public Schools would get $398 per pupil,” she said.
The governor is asking republicans, who control the state legislature, to support her plan.
“I think we are working together right now,” said 73rd District Republican State Representative Lynn Afendoulis who was one of a few republican lawmakers who attended the governor’s presentation Friday afternoon.
“I think there is a lot of good negotiation happening and I am very confident we will get something going here,” she said.
“I’m working my tail off to build bridges here,” said Whitmer. “This isn’t a democratic or republican issue when kids aren’t learning or roads are crumbling.”
The governor and her team say what people would pay in higher gas taxes would be offset by fewer costly car repairs caused by the poor roads.
“Every driver in the state will get some relief,” she said.
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