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1660 AM Kalamazoo, MI

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Road money from Lansing hung up in spending dispute

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House Speaker Jase Bolger says more is needed for roads.
House Speaker Jase Bolger says more is needed for roads.

LANSING (WKZO) --Plans to inject more state money into helping local counties and cities clear snow and patch potholes has gotten tied up in Lansing in a dispute between House and Senate leadership over money.

Wednesday the State Senate unanimously rejected house revisions to a supplemental appropriations bill that included the road money.

The Senate version approved 100-million dollars for snow removal and potholes.  It would have been shared by MDOT, County Road Commissions and local cities and villages.  It also included about 20-projects the Senate felt couldn't wait until the next budget. 

Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Kahn says they also included 114-million dollars to patch a shortfall in The Health Insurance Claims Act to make the budget sound. .

The House approved 215-million dollars for roads, a placeholder to cover the H.I.C.A. shortfall and stripped out most of the senate projects. 

Speaker Jase Bolger says the hole in the insurance fund can wait, the only holes his constituents want to see patched right now are potholes.

The two conflicting bills will now go to conference committee where tough negotiations are expected. 

Whatever they agree on will then have to be approved by the full House and Senate.

What isn't clear is how long that might take. 

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