State Senate Leader Plans To Up The Ante On Road Funding In Coming Weeks

May 13, 2014

The debate over fixing Michigan’s crumbling roads moves to the state Senate this week.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, lawmakers could soon consider a plan to increase taxes or fees to pay for roads.

Until recently, it seemed like boosting the state’s gas tax, vehicle registration fees, or other new sources of revenue was off the table this year. But now, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he hopes to introduce such a plan in the coming weeks.

   “It’s just a matter of time,” he says.

Last week, the state House approved legislation that would boost road spending by about $500 million a year. That’s about a third of what experts say is needed to keep roads from crumbling further. Richardville says he won’t be happy with anything less than a full solution.

“I think the number one phrase that I’ve gotten back from home is, ‘Just fix the damn roads,’" he says.  “And that’s what we intend to do.”

It’s not clear what kind of revenue increase Richardville plans to propose.