State To Borrow $3.5 Billion For Roads
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to add $3.5 billion in debt for the state. The Governor says the state is forced to borrow the money since the Republican majority in the state legislature turned its back on her 45 cents a gallon gasoline tax plan. The Governor claims the borrowing is the only way the state can effectively pay for repairs to the state’s road system. The money cannot be used for local or county road repairs, only on roads the state is responsible for. Whitmer says many roads need to be rebuilt, not just resurfaced.
Conservative state legislators are opposed to the idea, pointing to nearly one billion dollars already available for that kind of work. State House Speaker Lee Chatfield says the Governor’s plan may get some roads rebuilt but asks, at what cost? He says the idea simply adds more debt on the backs of state residents to pay off over years to come. Many Democrats in the state legislature joined Republicans to ward off the Governor’s 45 cent a gallon gas tax idea. That’s can’t happen here. Chatfield concedes, there is little anyone can to do to stop the Governor from implementing her plan.
The State Transportation Commission is authorized to initiate borrowing without voter approval. The Commission plans to do just that, later today.