(AP) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is defending her decision to propose a 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase after she once called her Republican gubernatorial opponent’s suggestion that she would raise the tax by 20 cents “ridiculous” and “nonsense.”

The Democrat is coming under criticism from some in the GOP who say she is breaking a campaign “promise.” She says it was not always her plan to propose so large of a tax hike, but once she took office she gained a “real appreciation” for how quickly the roads are deteriorating.

She says her campaign pledge was to “fix the damn roads, and this plan does that.”

Some influential groups such as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce say they are willing to back some sort of gas tax increase to fix the roads

But the top Republican on the House budget committee, Rep. Shane Hernandez, says Whitmer has started the conversation “on the wrong foot” by coming out with a 45-cents-a-gallon increase.

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