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Infrastructure, taxes, Flint: GOP, Dem lawmakers respond to State of the State

Michigan state Capitol
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Republican and Democratic leaders in Lansing have questions about the governor's plans to boost infrastructure spending.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered his seventh State of the State address on Tuesday, outlining accomplishments since 2010 and urging investment in infrastructure.

Stateside spoke with two of the Michigan legislative leaders who attended the address at the Michigan Capitol, Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck and Democrat Sam Singh, the party leader in the state House of Representatives.

Singh told us that while he agreed with some of the governor’s remarks, he was disappointed by the limited time the governor dedicated to the Flint water crisis — about two minutes.

“We heard almost the same amount about cows and their production of milk that we did on the city of Flint,” Singh said.

Colbeck was less critical of the governor’s address, offering praise for the strength of the state’s economy. However, he did voice concerns about the possibility that the governor’s plan to boost infrastructure spending could lead to an increase in taxes.

“There’s a lot of ways of going and fixing things like roads, for example, that don’t necessarily involve increasing taxes,” he said. “I mean some of it is just about building higher-quality roads and using existing funds.”

One area of agreement for Singh and Colbeck: supporting local government. Singh noted that revenue-sharing has declined significantly in recent years, putting a hole in the budgets of many municipalities throughout the state.

In a similar vein, Colbeck said that local governments are often able to spend infrastructure dollars more intelligently than the state government.

Listen to State of the State responses from Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck and Democratic House leader Sam Singh above.

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