Michigan Senators Debate Whether $500 Million For Roads Is Enoug - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan Senators Debate Whether $500 Million For Roads Is Enough

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Michigan senators were back at the state capitol Wednesday after a three week hiatus and a $500 million "road fix package" was on the agenda.

6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick looks at where the votes could be coming.

The road fix is on the table as lawmakers return from a three week spring break.

House Speaker Jase Bolger proposes a $500 million temporary fix by not raising taxes, but shifting some taxes around to the roads.

When the senators were back home what kind of feedback did that get from motorists fed up to with pot holes?

“They want the roads fixed. However the current plan that I’m viewing doesn’t do that. It just starts,” said State Senator Rick Jones (r), Grand Ledge.

“I heard more than enough from my constituents,” said State Senator Bert Johnson (d), Highland Park

Reporter: “What did they say?

Senator Johnson, “They said, Bert go fix the roads.”

The $500 million package falls way short of the governor’s goal of $1.3 billion. Yet he says he’s willing to talk about this.

The speaker’s plan is a good down payment, says the senate republican leader.

“That's a good way to say it. He’s putting a down payment on something that needs to happen bigger and better, later, but this is a responsible thing and I give him a lot of kudos for taking the initiative,” said State Senator Randy Richardville, republican leader.

Reporter: “Will you see his $500 million and add another $250?”

Senator Richardville: “I’m not in the process of doing that at this point.”

The ranking democrat is afraid that money will go to republican districts this election year, leaving democrats to fend for themselves.

Reporter: “Do you think democrats will see any of that money?”

“I would assume we would have to fight for every penny of it, but I do believe that they'll have to dedicate some money to south east Michigan. We have the most heavily traveled roads in the state and to ignore that I think would cause quite a rebellion in the state,” said State Senator Glenn Anderson, (d), Westland.

State Representative Jase Bolger (d), House Speaker: “60 percent of that would go to our local units of government, 40 percent to our state trunk lines.”

Reporter: “Not based on whether it’s republican or democrat.”

Bolger: “Not projects. Exactly the way road funding’s been distributed since 1951”

Lawmakers will leave town the end of June to face the voters and the betting money is they'll go home with some money for the roads or face the wrath of those voters.
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