New Michigan law applies budget surplus to roads

March 21, 2018

Keith Goble

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An infusion of funds in Michigan will soon be applied to road repairs.

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed into law a supplemental spending bill to accelerate the timetable for getting pothole repairs underway. Specifically, the new law provides an additional $175 million for repair work throughout the state.

“Michigan’s roads are not in good condition, and we have heard the frustration from residents about the need for improvement,” Snyder said in prepared remarks.

He added that the funds available for the upcoming construction season via HB4321 will contribute to the $800 million more in new state funding.

The funds were originally slotted to be made available for next year’s construction season.

Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia, said the state’s roadways are in rough shape. She adds that making funds available now will allow the state to begin repair work as early as this spring.

She said that not taking action now would have forced the state to wait until the new budget year begins Oct. 1.

“We are taking action right now – ahead of schedule – to give our local communities as much time and help as possible as they prioritize road projects for this year,” Cox has stated.

HB4321 taps most of the $200 million state budget surplus. The funding is in addition to changes to aid road and bridge work across the state.

A 2015 law is billed to fix the state’s ailing road and bridge system. The $1.2 billion, multiple-bill package included authorization of an annual transfer from the state’s general fund to roads, and fuel tax and vehicle fee increases. However, the funding does not take full effect until 2021.

Snyder said additional revenue raised via linking vehicle and fuel tax rates to the consumer price index this year will contribute another $630 million for this season’s transportation work.

HB4321 allots $68.4 million for the state. Counties will receive $68.4 million. The remaining $38.2 million is to be routed to cities and villages.

In the Detroit area, Wayne County is in line to receive about $6.5 million while Oakland County will collect $7 million. The city of Detroit will receive $5.8 million.

“We are taking extra care to ensure this money for local communities is spent directly on improving roads and not anything else,” Cox said. “It is critical that we do as much direct road repair work as possible with the money available.”

Also included in the new law is $15 million for connected vehicle projects, hydrogen fueling stations, and a transportation mobility pilot project.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

Penske

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.