AP Interview: Snyder says tax hike for roads his toughest task, previews 2015 agenda


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LANSING, Michigan — Gov. Rick Snyder doesn't hesitate when asked to name his toughest task in the last year — because it's still unfinished.

The Republican governor's call for a $1.2 billion tax increase to improve roads has proven tougher than winning re-election or helping guide Detroit from bankruptcy.

Snyder told The Associated Press in an interview that lawmakers don't want to raise taxes even though having better roads would save drivers in the long run. He's lobbying the Legislature to act in the waning days of the two-year session and says compromise is good as long it doesn't cause problems in other parts of the state budget.

Snyder is hoping for a resolution so that when he's sworn into a second term in January, he can turn his attention to emphasizing career and technical education and skilled trades. He also expects to tackle third-grade reading proficiency, which is a key marker of students' future success.

Because of his re-election win, Snyder is mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate along with other Midwestern Republican governors. But he cautions that his plan to travel outside the state to tell Michigan and Detroit's turnaround stories is consistent with what he's been doing.

He says he isn't "aspiring" to run for president but won't rule it out either for now because "it brings more attention to Michigan."

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