Snyder: Gas tax, Medicaid plans make fiscal sense

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2013 at 8:01 am •  Published: February 9, 2013
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Freshman Rep. Michael McCready, a Bloomfield Hills Republican, said he knows new road revenue could be needed.

"I have to think, though, that there's some money in the general fund somewhere we can apply toward that $1.3 billion," he said.

Some outside Lansing voiced outrage with Snyder's plan and said lawmakers should not bow to pressure from the road-building lobby and some business groups to act.

"Instead of looking for new solutions, the governor has chosen the same failed tactics — reaching for taxpayers' wallets," said Denee Rockman-Moon, leader of the state Libertarian Party.

Medicaid expansion may be more palatable because the federal government would pay all or most of the cost, and Democrats, hospitals, doctors and others strongly support carrying out the health care law championed by President Barack Obama. But conservatives have doubts.

Sen. Patrick Colbeck said he is leery of "getting into bed" with an unstable federal government at a time Michigan's fiscal outlook is sunnier than in the past.

"I don't think it's a done deal that this Affordable Care Act is something that is going to be coming into place," he said, questioning the Obama administration's ability to set up another key piece of the law — an online marketplace in Michigan where people can shop for health insurance.

The GOP-led state House last year rejected Snyder's call to create a state-run exchange, so the state is now headed toward a partnership exchange controlled primarily by the federal government. Michigan last month was given a $31 million federal grant to help implement the exchange, but that, too, could run into resistance when Snyder soon seeks permission from legislators to spend it.

The governor has his work cut out for him.

"Let's be making investments — not just quote-unquote 'spending' but investing where there's a positive outcome that clearly has more value to all 10 million Michiganders than not making that investment," he said.

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Snyder proposed 2013-14 budget: http://1.usa.gov/YKEqNW

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Email David Eggert at deggert(at)ap.org and follow him at http://twitter.com/DavidEggert00



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