By now, the majority of Michiganders have probably learned of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to fix some of our state’s roads – a plan that comes at a high cost for all and will only really benefit a small portion of the pavement needing repairs.
I’m not talking about her proposed 45-cent tax increase. That was her plan last year, which failed and was rejected by the Legislature.
No, it’s a new year and Gov. Whitmer has come up with yet another strategy to take Michigan families’ hard-earned dollars – this time initiating a $3.5 billion bonding plan for repairs to state trunk lines. And here’s the catch, this new plan doesn’t require approval from the Legislature.
This is an ill-conceived approach, especially considering we are still paying off billions in road bonding debt from nearly 20 years ago. The fact is, we can’t afford the governor’s plan, and it is unthinkable to pass this cost burden on to our future generations.
What makes this bad plan even worse is knowing this bonding money will only be used on state-owned roads. What about the local roads that continue to put lives at risk and destroy people’s vehicles?
Families in Wayne and Monroe counties have reached out with their concerns time and time again about the roads they travel to work, the grocery store, or picking up and dropping off their kids at school. These everyday trips and errands create unbearable stress and put their vehicles at risk because of massive potholes, yet Gov. Whitmer is only focused on interstates and state highways.
I’ve said this before and will keep saying it: There are other more practical ways to fix roads without crippling taxpayers for generations to come. I sponsor a plan to help address immediate needs by allowing local road agencies to prioritize fixing their worst roads first – regardless of whether they’re a highway or secondary road.
I strongly urge Gov. Whitmer to work with the Legislature to find real solutions that fund all of the roads in Michigan – without robbing from our state’s hardworking people.