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State Lawmakers Reject Heavy Truck Rules Changes

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State Senate rejects bill to reduce truck weight limits

The state Senate has rejected a bill that would reduce the amount of weight trucks are allowed to carry on Michigan's roads. The state has the highest truck weight limits in the country.

Democrats say reducing the limits will help keep the roads from crumbling.

"You can't have a 21st Century state and your roads look like they came out of something from 'The Book of Eli' or 'Mad Max and the Thunderdome' or whatever post-apocalyptic thriller reference you want to use," said Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit.

But Republicans like Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, says it's a misconception that heavy trucks are causing Michigan's poor road conditions. He says the bill would only hurt small businesses.

"The small business working person out there putting in 10, 12, 15, 16 hours a day just trying to make it go, not complaining, just happy that you're in a business that you own. And somehow you're tagged as not being fair because you have a big truck," said Casperson.

"Attacking one group like this, somehow saying that's going to fix it is inappropriate and wrong."

The Senate passed a bill last month to increase penalties for trucks that are overweight. That bill is awaiting action in the House along with legislation to boost road funding.