Legislature Begins Debate Over $500 Million Road Funding Plan

Apr 17, 2014

State House Speaker Jase Bolger says it’s time for lawmakers to do something about Michigan’s crumbling roads – even if it’s not a full solution.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, Bolger outlined his plan Thursday in front of a state House panel.

Bolger’s plan would boost state infrastructure spending by about half-a-billion dollars a year. That’s a lot less than the one-to-two billion dollars most estimates say is needed to stop Michigan’s roads from getting worse.

But Bolger says lawmakers can’t wait around and do nothing until there’s support for a more comprehensive solution.

“I hope we do exactly what our constituents have asked, and that is, stop talking and start doing,” he says.

Among other things, Bolger’s plan would dedicate part of the state’s sales tax to roads and increase fines for overweight trucks.

Some groups worry passing a smaller increase than what’s needed could make it harder for lawmakers to pass a more comprehensive plan later.