Friday, March 2, 2018

Relief is on the way — Michigan Senate approves $175M to fix crumbling roads

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 1:41 PM

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Michigan is millions of dollars closer to fixing its crumbling, pothole-ladden roads.

On Thursday, the Michigan Senate voted 36-0 to approve $175 million to rehabilitate state roads over the next fiscal year.

Preceding the unanimous vote was a flurry of partisan squabbling, with Democrats hurling claims the increased road funding wasn't enough to solve Michigan's declining infrastructure problem.

Before the road funding bill passed, democratic amendments had been proposed to use $275 million of the state's rainy day fund to pay for roads.

"It's raining in Michigan, literally at times raining concrete," Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-East Lansing) said.

That amendment was voted down 15-21.

Republicans responded, saying fast tracking the funds for this year, rather than waiting until next year under Gov. Rick Snyder's 2015 proposal was a good start.

"It's going to take some time to get them back in good conditions," Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) said.

The additional $175 million will be included in the already $600 million planned for roads and bridges this year. The planned money is part of the 2015 road plan, which promises $1.2 billion will be poured into roads by 2021.

The 2018-19 fiscal year will include $750 million.

Along with road funding comes an additional $1 million granted to the Office of Attorney General for the Michigan State University sexual assault scandal that's being investigated.

Additionally, another $2.4 million will be appropriated for Michigan State Police to use as disaster relief and providing officers with NARCAN nasal spray, used for reviving opioid users.

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