2020 could properly journey a well-known highway


Kyle Melinn

It’s all about fixing the rattling roads. Once more. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s widespread 2018 gubernatorial marketing campaign returns in 2020’s opening months because the big-ticket merchandise.

The 45-cent-a-gallon tax enhance is out. Probably, expanded bonding choices are in. Whitmer will allow us to all know for positive by her Jan. 29 State of the State tackle if and the way she’s elevating $2.5 billion a 12 months for roads.

However as we glance forward on this column towards what we will anticipate from Lansing in 2020, what’s beneath the hood of Whitmer Street Funding 2.zero is much less necessary than whom she’s prepared to share the highway with.

The touchdown strip is there for the Democratic governor and the Republican-led Legislature because it heads towards a presidential election. It’s simply very skinny and never very lengthy.

— Street Funding  The favored chatter on the town has Whitmer’s crew exploring bonding for roads. For a fiscally conservative Republican, the one factor doubtless much less interesting than elevating gasoline taxes is borrowing cash for infrastructure via bonding. Notably for this crew of lawmakers.

Michigan pays $160 million yearly for John Engler’s highway bonding adventures of the 1990s. The roads he repaired should be mounted once more, however we’re all nonetheless paying the debt service. Going properly above the $1 billion the governor may legally bond via the State Transportation Fee isn’t the Legislature’s first, second or third choice.

Home, Senate and administration officers made some headway on this concern final 12 months. A compromise may embrace Speaker Lee Chatfield’s push to have all gasoline tax go to the roads and Senate Majority Chief Mike Shirkey’s drive to bond out a portion of the instructor pension funds would nonetheless want…



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