Snyder plans to build bridge without vote, lawmakers concerned - KMSP-TV

Snyder plans to build bridge without vote, lawmakers concerned

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Governor Rick Snyder has been working on his proposed bridge for almost 531 days.  Unable to find the Republican votes in the legislature to build it, the governor plans to do it without a legislative vote.

"But he is the governor, so if that's what he wants to do, so be it," said Sen. Jack Brandenburg, a Republican from Macomb County.  "I think it sends a poor sign to the legislature that, you know, what we feel doesn't count."

The governor will sign what's called an interlocal agreement with Canada to launch the project. Lawmakers cannot veto that even if they wanted to, and one Republican senator wants to.

"We don't need the bridge.  It's going to probably destroy an independent business, and it's going to be built in a place where imminent collapse to that bridge can occur," said Sen. Roger Kahn.  "The governor, like every other human being, can be wrong from time to time."

The Senate Republican leader concedes the governor has the authority to ignore the legislature, but he is concerned that even though the governor has promised no tax dollars will be used now, what about tax dollars in the future?

"Some of the bridges that have been built in years past, when you get into a point of, hey, we have no money and now we have half a bridge, what do we do, and they come knocking at your door, it's kind of hard to say no then. That's what the concern that I have is," said Sen. Randy Richardville.

Meanwhile, Democrats are generally in favor of the bridge for the jobs it will create, but some still worry about the displaced residents in that area.

"My primary concern right now is whether there are environmental protections for the people who live in Delray.  Are they going to be completely wiped out?" said Sen. Coleman Young, Junior.

Before they begin work on the bridge, the owners of the Ambassador Bridge are expected to haul the governor into court to challenge his authority to do this without a legislative vote.

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