The state’s House of Representatives passed a series of bills Tuesday that are proposed to pump $450 million a year into road and bridge repairs, according to the Detroit Free Press.
With Michigan having the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S history, the package will help alleviate the debt that has been accumulated, reports yahoo.com. A few of the other bills the legislature must deal with before the recess deal with Medicaid, financially strained school districts and legal assistance for criminal defendants, reports uplivenorth.com.
“Michigan’s roads have been lumpy and bumpy for years,” said Diane Walker, a resident of Detroit told patch in a phone interview Thursday. “I’m glad they’re finally ready to do something about it.”
Experts say there is a much-needed effort for the city to assess and repair the current state of the roads. While the changes will be beneficial for Michigan residents, it’ll also be costly. The Senate is seriously considering raising fuel taxes 25 cents by 2018, which will generate an additional $1.5 billion a year. However, the Republican-controlled Senate will need a significant number of Democrat votes to increase the gas tax.
“The main thing is, let/s get something done because the potholes are awful and they’re not going to get better” Gov. Rick Snyder told the Detroit Free Press.
Senate majority leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, proposed the gas tax proposal which will raise the fuel taxes starting at 9.5 percentage rate and increase each year reaching 15.5 percent by 2018.
The gas tax proposal would abolish the 19-cents per gallon tax on gasoline and the 15-cents per gallon tax on diesel fuel, and replace it with a new tax on wholesale prices for fuel.
Many business leaders are uneasy about the new proposal, Richardville told the Lansing State Journal.
“There’s a possibility, too, that we could come back and let the people vote on something different,” he told the Free Press. “However, I don’t want to go home for the summer without having some sort of mechanism to fix these roads.”
Lawmakers makers are expected to go on break for the next two weeks and if a decision isn’t made before they leave, Michigan will likely lose another construction season reports the Lansing State Journal.
- What do you think the legislature should do to fix Michigan's crumbling roads?