House Republicans on Wednesday had pushed a plan that included raising $600 million in new revenue and $600 million in existing revenue, but Snyder and Democrats asked that other budgetary issues, like the Health Insurance Claims Assessment (HICA) be tackled, as well.
The rationale was that with other spending pressures hitting the state budget in the coming years, the Budget Office wants to make sure General Fund expenditures are buttoned up before signing off on a permanent $600 million spending item.
This miffed Republican legislators, though, who saw the "$600/$600" plan as a fair compromise between the road-funding plan they supported earlier this year and the $1.2 billion in new revenue Snyder wanted.
The quadrant and Snyder are set to meet again next week.
While most lawmakers were not around Thursday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Al PSCHOLKA (R-Stevensville) said, "I'm one who believes we ought to be in session every day until we get it done," referring to the failed attempt on Wednesday night to pass a road fix plan.
But he quickly added that House Speaker Kevin COTTER (R-Mt. Pleasant) "was right to take a break and take a time out" with hopes that down the road "cooler heads may prevail" in early September.
The House budget chair still believes they were close to passing something, but "everybody wants a little something. I think we saw that with Proposal One and we saw it rear its ugly head yesterday . . . we've got to keep it all for the roads," he concluded.
"We got to the point where we hit the wall" and it was clear they couldn't get over that wall last night, he concluded.
What about calling everyone back for another round prior to Sept. 9?
"I don't know if that is the solution . . . I think the folks will hear from their constituents and they will come back in early September rejuvenated and ready to get the job done."
Rep. Tom BARRETT (R-Potterville) was in town ready to hit the district and "knock on doors" and meet with the Farm Bureau. He said, "I'm not on vacation" and he's not apprehensive about facing constituents in the aftermath of the failure to vote this week.
"We've already spent $400 million on the roads" for this year, and even if the plan had been approved this week it would not kick in until next year.
He reports the leadership will continue to meet during the break even though most lawmakers are not here.
Political consultant Roger MARTIN was on the front line trying, unsuccessfully, to get voters to approve Proposal 1. Hence he has more than a passing interest in the current legislative effort to do what the voters refused to do.
So his take on the House leaving town until Sept 9?
"I think the Michigan legislature has created a political problem . . . that is deeper than any pothole" in the state he contended.
He said the polling data after 80 percent of the voters rejected Prop 1. He said 87 percent wanted "the Michigan legislature to stay at work" and get the job done. And 47 percent were "very strong" on that opinion.
"When you do political polls and you get that intensity in the 40s, that's when people are mad; that's when people want action taken and they want it done now."