Package moves to Senate for consideration
House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, today announced the House approved Speaker Bolger’s package of bills aimed at rebuilding Michigan’s transportation infrastructure through efficient, fiscally responsible measures for building and maintaining safer roads for Michigan families.
“Today marks the culmination of a year-and-a-half-long bipartisan effort to implement concrete solutions and address the immediate problems facing our state’s roadways,” Schmidt said.
This year, the Legislature approved a budget supplemental from surplus revenue that included $215 million for roads statewide. Including these funds, the House has invested $584.8 million in existing resources into Michigan’s roads. The package that passed the House today addresses four key components of reforming Michigan’s transportation infrastructure: quality, fairness, efficiency and responsible use of current resources.
“This legislation streamlines and creates efficiencies to ensure that money spent on roads is used as effectively as possible,” Schmidt said. “These reforms move us one giant step closer to having the safe, reliable roads that hard-working Michiganders expect.”
Legislation passed today intends to start making up for years of underfunding by increasing annual road funding to more than $500 million. Bills from Schmidt and his colleagues will redirect current revenue from the use and sales taxes, replace the outdated flat excise with a 6-percent revenue neutral wholesale tax, address plate transfer fee inconsistencies, streamline and dedicate registration fees and fines, as well as increase the cost of overweight and oversize load permits. Competitive bidding and disclosure of appropriate road warranties would also be required under the new laws.
“The time for political games is over. We are addressing this issue now,” Schmidt said. “The taxpayers of this state demand real action, not gimmicks and diversions. Good roads equal good jobs, and getting Michiganders to work is something we can all agree on.”
The Build Better Michigan Roads package garnered bipartisan support and now heads to the Senate for consideration.