Senate passes comprehensive road solution

Sen. Jim Marleau

Sen. Jim Marleau

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday passed an eight-bill road funding package that would ensure a long-term funding solution for Michigan’s roads and bridges in order to repair, maintain and improve the state’s crumbling infrastructure, said state Sen. Jim Marleau.

“This Senate Republican plan, called Fixing MI Roads, addresses our huge road-funding problem with a simple, straight-forward approach,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Michiganders have wanted us to tackle the problem of our crumbling roads and bridges, and we have come up with a responsible, long-term solution.”

The initiative proposes a combination of new revenue and reprioritizing existing state resources, which would ensure the necessary funding for Michigan’s transportation problem.

New revenue would come from a gas and diesel tax increase that would be phased in, and implementing a road use fairness system where hybrid and electric vehicle registration would increase. The plan would also implement a fee schedule and additional taxes on alternative fuels.

The increases to the gas and diesel tax would be phased in over a three-year period with successive increases of four cents in years one and two, and seven cents in year three. On Jan. 1, 2017, the tax would top off at 34 cents per gallon.

Fixing MI Roads would also guarantee that $700 million of income tax revenue annually is used for transportation purposes before it reaches the General Fund budget.

The plan would instill a competitive bidding program for contractors, ensure that townships could take a more active role in future road projects, and require a future assessment and evaluation of the current system by sunsetting all gas taxes in 2033.

For more information on the proposal, visit www.FixingMiRoads.com.

The bills now head to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.