Michigan House endorses plan to apply budget surplus to roads

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, February 26, 2018

An infusion of funds in Michigan could soon be applied to road repairs.

House lawmakers voted unanimously to advance a bill to the Senate that would provide an additional $175 million for road work throughout the state.

Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia, said the state’s roadways are in rough shape. She adds that funds are available to begin repair work as soon as this summer.

Not taking action now would force the state to wait until the new budget year begins Oct. 1.

“We are taking action right now – ahead of schedule – to give our local communities as much time and help as possible as they prioritize road projects for this year,” Cox said in prepared remarks.

HB4321 taps most of the $200 million state budget surplus. The funding is in addition to changes to aid road and bridge work across the state.

A 2015 law is billed to fix the state’s ailing road and bridge system. The $1.2 billion, multiple-bill package included authorization of an annual transfer from the state’s general fund to roads, and fuel tax and vehicle fee increases. However, the funding does not take full effect until 2021.

Cox’s bill would allot $68 million for the state. Counties would receive $68 million. The remaining $38 million would be routed to cities and villages.

In the Detroit area, Wayne County would receive about $6.5 million while Oakland County would collect $7 million. The city of Detroit would receive $5.8 million.

“We are taking extra care to ensure this money for local communities is spent directly on improving roads and not anything else,” Cox said. “It is critical that we do as much direct road repair work as possible with the money available.”

Also included in the bill is $15 million for connected vehicle projects, hydrogen fueling stations, and a transportation mobility pilot project.

HB4321 awaits further consideration in the Senate.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.



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