LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Senate has unanimously approved a $175 million infusion into the state’s roads, a 7 percent boost over existing spending.
Thursday’s vote comes as drivers face potholes from this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle. The House will take a final vote this afternoon.
Gov. Rick Snyder proposed the additional $175 million for the next budget year, but Legislators decided it should be spent this year. The money would be split among the state, counties, and cities and villages.
State Senator Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights says that money is badly needed in Macomb County.
“I challenge you to come to Sterling Heights, come to Macomb County, drive on our roads — the majority of them are destroyed,” Rocca said. “We drive on our roads and use them until the end of their actual service life and then several years afterword. The gaps between the pavement seams on Mound Road and the other roads in my district are chasms.”
Laws passed in 2015 to spend significantly more to maintain roads are being phased in. Senate Democrats say that Republican-backed plan fell short as the Dems unsuccessfully sought to add another $275 million in immediate spending.
“This is not a done deal,” stressed WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Stubick. “It still has to go back to the House, because they took a million dollars from road repairs and put it into the budget for the State Attorney General to investigate MSU’s role in the Larry Nassar case.”
Skubick said although this moves the legislation forward, Democrats continue to complain that it’s not enough money.
Majority Republicans, meanwhile, caution it will take time to improve roads because it took decades for them to deteriorate.
The House is expected to ratify the bills as early as Thursday afternoon.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.