State Senate could Triple road funding increase passed by House

May 19, 2014

Republican leaders in the Michigan Senate have a plan to boost state road funding by up to $1.4 billion a year.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, that’s almost triple the amount approved by the state House.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he hopes to hold a vote on the legislation before the end of the week. The proposal could actually exceed the amount Governor Rick Snyder has been calling for to keep Michigan’s roads from getting worse. It would gradually raise the state’s tax on gasoline over the next few years to pay for the increase.

Jim Holcomb is with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. He says most Michiganders support paying more for better roads.

   “The public has come out,” he says.  “They’ve said they’re worried about the roads. They believed (we’ve) reached a crisis point and now is the time to act.”

But Tea Party and anti-tax groups are blasting the proposal. They say lawmakers should increase money for roads by taking it out of other areas of the state budget.