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House Committee Begins Michigan Road Funding Hearings

Flickr / jakelv7500

A special state House committee has started to look for ways to pay for roads and transportation after voters overwhelmingly said “NO” to Proposal One. 

Business Community Response

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has called for higher fuel taxes to pay for roads.

Rich Studley of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce told Michigan lawmakers they should look for savings and ways to spend more efficiently. But he says, eventually, they will also have to find ways to generate revenue.  

Studley adds, “There is no quick fix. There is no silver bullet. We need a comprehensive solution, a multi-year solution to a problem that now at the low end of the range calls for $1.2 billion, $1.3 billion dollars in spending.” 

Legislative Response

Chair of the committee, Republican state Representative Jeff Farrington says lawmakers are ready to get back to work after voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposal One on May 5th. “The Legislature is ready for it. We realize we haven’t stepped up as much as we had to and we’re really ready to make the commitment to the residents of the state of Michigan that they deserve.” 

Farrington insists his committee will start by looking for ways to save money and be more efficient before tackling the tougher options. Though, he says putting another question on the ballot is not one of those options. 

The House Committee on Roads and Economic Development will continue to hold votes after hearings on newly proposed options over the next two weeks.

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.