Southfield (CBS Detroit) – With leaders in Lansing bickering over how to fund much needed repairs for Michigan’s ailing roads and Gov. Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent gas tax DOA with the Republican controlled legislature, expect a new plan to be put forth in coming weeks.

That according to MDOT Director Paul Ajegba who appeared with MICHIGAN MATTERS Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain to talk about the state’s infrastructure issues. Whitmer will deliver her state of the state speech on Jan. 28 in Lansing. She had proposed a 45-cent increase in the field tax to raise $2 billion for roads and $500 million for schools.

Paul Ajegba, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, with Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain (Credit: Logan Tesmer/CBS 62)

Ajegba and Cain discussed the prospects of toll roads and whether it could help raise funds for infrastructure repairs.

Paul Ajegba, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, with Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain (Credit: Logan Tesmer/CBS 62)

Then the roundtable of Denise Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Enterprises, Peter Bhatia, Vice President and Editor of Detroit Free Press, and Suzy Avery, former Chair of the Michigan Republican Party and Co-Director of Michigan Political Leadership Program at MSU, appeared with Cain to discuss prospects for road funding and whether a deal would be reached in Lansing.

Susy Avery, Co-Director of MPLP, Denise Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Enterprises, and Peter Bhatia, Vice President and Editor of Detroit Free Press (Credit: Logan Tesmer/CBS 62)

They also discussed regional transit in Southeast Michigan as a new proposal supported by some leaders in Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw Counties and city of Detroit is gaining attention.

Susy Avery, Co-Director of MPLP, Denise Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Enterprises, and Peter Bhatia, Vice President and Editor of Detroit Free Press, with Michigan Matters Host Carol Cain (Credit: Logan Tesmer/CBS 62)

The proposal would need the approval of leaders in Lansing before it could get going.

The topic of regional transit will be discussed at the Detroit Free Press’ upcoming Breakfast Club event “Regional Transit: a new Era?” held Jan. 21 at the Townsend Hotel. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Oakland County Executive David Coulter and Jason Morgan, Chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, will headline the popular speakers forum. The sold-out event is being moderated by Cain, who is also a Free Press columnist.

The Michigan Matters roundtable also discussed the presidential race and a new poll showing former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg leading other Democratic contenders in the 2020 race.

Watch MICHIGAN MATTERS Sunday at 11:30am on CBS 62

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