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State Senate to consider House-passed roads plan, but deal likely far off

Republican leaders in the state Senate say they’re willing to consider a road funding plan approved late Wednesday night by the state House.

That $1 billion plan eventually raises taxes and fees by $600 million.

It also makes $600 million in unspecified cuts to other parts of the budget.

And the legislation includes a possible rollback in Michigan’s income tax rate.

“We’re considering the plan that they sent over in total and some of the things that maybe we think are important. But, great first step,” said state Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive). “The House has acted and put a plan in front of us to talk about. So we’ll talk about it.”

But Democrats are blasting the plan.

The top Democrat in the Senate hopes the chamber will instead take up a different plan being negotiated between legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Snyder.

“We were so close to a real solution,” said state Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint). “There’s no reason to sort of pass a gimmick in order to say, ‘Well, we’re done with it.’ And I think that’s what the House did yesterday.”

The governor has openly criticized similar plans that rely heavily on cuts to the state’s general fund.

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