LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Two days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer laid out her budget, the conversation at the state Capitol was still focused on one point: the gas tax.

Whitmer proposed 45-cent hike to be fully implemented by October 2020. It would raise $2.5 billion more each year for the roads. According to, the average driver would pay an extra $270 per year per vehicle.

“We haven’t received any positive phone calls in the office… people are opposed to such a large increase and we need to take that seriously,” state Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday.

He’s the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and that means he’ll be working on the budget.

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At the other end of the Capitol, Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, is the minority vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He sees the proposal differently.

“I think this is a great place to start,” he said. “And here’s what I give the governor a lot of credit for: Gov. Whitmer said that she wanted to end the shell game.”

He said that’s taking money from its intended use and spending it for something else.

He also noted the gas tax isn’t a done deal.

“I’m not sold that the gas tax is the best or only way to do it, but it was refreshing to actually have a politician say, ‘Here’s the problem and here’s what it’s going to take to fix it,'” Hoadley said.

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Bumstead was less convinced.

“If we are asking them for another $500 to $1,000 a year on a vehicle, that’s a lot of money,” he said. “How do we offset that with a working family? I think it’s going to be tough sell for working families in West Michigan.”

Over the next 12 weeks or so, legislators will revise, amend, change, come up with their own ideas and ultimately put a budget together. The plan should be finalized sometime in June or early July.