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Whitmer tells Republicans to 'stop screwing around' on budget they claim she is holding 'hostage'

podium set up for press conference
Cheyna Roth
Michigan Radio

Republican leaders in Lansing want to focus on the budget and possibly save a plan to fix the state’s roads for a later date.

But Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to pass the state budget and a comprehensive plan to raise around $2.5 billion for the state’s roads at the same time. As the budget deadline looms (midnight on September 30th), her administration is starting to prepare for a potential shutdown.

“But it’s time for the Republican-led Legislature to get serious, to get back to work, to stop screwing around, and to get it done,” she said.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) says they’ve offered the governor four proposals. But she has said no to each one.

“The citizens of Michigan deserve the certainty of a budget being done," he said. "I can assure there is no reason other than a desire to create a crisis for even contemplation of a government shutdown.”

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) says Whitmer is holding the budget hostage. He says that’s her way of getting a 45 cent fuel tax increase to fix the roads. Whitmer says Republicans have not offered her any reasonable alternatives to her budget and roads proposals.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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