DETROIT (WWJ) – One Michigan lawmaker says he has a “Plan B” to fix Michigan’s roads that does not involve a tax increase.

Republican state representative Pete Lucido from Shelby Township tells WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton there’s over $20 billion in the state’s catastrophic claims fund – that is just sitting there.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fund is used to pay victims seriously injured in car accidents.

“I’d like to take out enough money to make the repairs for the roads – no more taxes – and give them back the right roads that they deserve,” said Lucido.

Lucido says the money in the fund is not being used for anything. “And it’s stockpiled, stockpiled, stockpiled.”

When asked about raiding the catastrophic fund Governor Snyder says no thanks.

Snyder says the money in the fund is stockpiled for future accident claims. “It’s not just the expenses today – it’s the future cost.”

“That would be more one-time funding – we need a reoccurring answer to raise the $1.2 billion because we need it year after year,” said Snyder.

“I wouldn’t put that on my Plan-B list – but I appreciate people coming forward with ideas,” said Snyder.

Snyder adds that right now there is no Plan-B for fixing the roads and he’s putting all of his energy into the passage of Proposal 1 on May 5.

Lucido plans to introduce a bill which would ask for a public vote to take money for Michigan roads from the catastrophic claims fund.

According to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fund, which assesses Michigan motorists a $186-per-vehicle fee as part of the state’s no-fault insurance system.

“Although created by statute, the MCCA is a private, nonprofit association. All of its dealings are with insurance companies, not the general public.

The MCCA has a Board of Directors that consists of five representatives from insurance companies, appointed by the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) according to statute. The insurance companies appointed to serve on this board are among the top writers, by volume of business, of auto insurance in Michigan. The Director of DIFS serves as an ex-officio member of the board without a vote.

Every auto insurer in Michigan pays its share of the MCCA assessment, based primarily on the number of vehicles it insures.”

A group backing Proposal 1, Safe Roads Yes!, says it raised $3.2 million as of early-mid February. More than two-thirds of the money came from the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, a road building group.

A committee opposing the tax hike reported taking in $1,000 as of Feb. 10. But since the reporting period’s close, the group has begun an ad campaign costing six figures.

If the constitutional amendment passes, Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax would increase to 7 percent and would no longer be applied to fuel.

Check your local clerks office for voter deadline registration information and absentee voter questions.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

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