House Republicans introduce new road plan without new taxes

The Michigan House Republicans this week announced a new long-term plan to fix the state's crumbling roads and bridges without raising taxes.

The plan would use existing dollars and re-prioritizing restricted funds, opposed to the ballot proposal voters soundly rejected which included education and other money diversions.

The House Republican plan contains funding pertinent to roads and transportation. 

Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township) said the bill package is about enacting realistic solutions.

"This is the practical plan the residents of our state have been waiting for," Kesto said. "We've made some tough decisions, but the result is better roads."

The  House Republican road funding plan purports to invest a portion of General Fund dollars directly into Michigan roads, amounting to $700 million over the next four years. 

Kesto said the plan will not affect funding for K-12 education, and the use of existing funds toward roads is common sense. 

 "A healthy infrastructure affects us all," Rep. Kesto said. "Michigan needs to be solid from the ground up, and our use of growing revenue should reflect that. Better roads means more commerce, lower costs for residents, and more investment into our state."

The plan also claims to eliminate some existing credits, redirects tobacco settlement and tribal gaming revenue and enacts project bidding requirements to ensure that construction projects deliver the best quality at the lowest cost to taxpayers and include warranties. 

Altogether, these measures push more than $300 million in additional funding into quality infrastructure development, bringing the total spending to $1 billion.

Kesto said that the plan is targeted to new roads and infrastructure.

"Voters spoke up and we listened," Rep. Kesto said. "It's a plan I'm happy with and I believe the people of Michigan can get behind, too."

Kesto said that the committee discussion on the bill package would begin "as soon as possible."
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