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Road package moves to Senate with funding source unresolved

Massive pothole in the middle of a two-lane road.
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The state House has approved a transportation funding package that would ensure about $450 million a year is spent on to road repairs and maintenance.

That’s still far short of the $1.2 billion Gov. Rick Snyder wants to fix and maintain roads.      

But supporters of the plan say it’s a good first step.

“Good roads equal good jobs, and a strengthened economy, so let’s work together to put Michigan back to work,” said state Rep. and House Transportation Committee Chairman Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

But some Democrats say the House should have worked harder to come up with more money.

“Our residents are actually asking us to actually fix the roads in front of their homes, on the roadways to their businesses and that’s what we should do,” said state Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing. Democrats also say the plan does not include enough money for public transit.

The debate over transportation money now moves to the state Senate, which is expected to tackle the question of where to come up with more revenue for roads. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.