Will Michigan Ever Fix Roads?

A giant pothole on I-75 is the newest reminder of just how bad Michigan roads are.

Detroit News Editor Nolan Finley speaks about the next move in Michigan’s ongoing road issues. Finley explains some of the problems the legislature is still experiencing and why things are getting even messier for Democrats and Republicans alike.

  • A Positive Feeling: Stephen noticed that people seem to be more hopeful about the upcoming deal but he wonders what will actually happen. Finley says there are a few reasons for the people’s hope and it’s likely that a decision will be made, but it might not be the best decision. He explains the Democrats have plans to put a business tax increase on the ballot that could cost the business community billions more and Republicans are feeling the pressure to act before they could lose power in the 2016 election.
  • It Needs to Happen Now: Finley also notes that since the next election cycle is coming soon, the house could likely go through a political shift. There’s some compromise on the horizon right now if the legislature can get a 50/50 split with money coming from taxes and spending cuts, but Republicans will lose their chance if they lose the majority. He says if they don’t get it done now, it doesn’t look very likely in the future.
  • Legislative Responsibility: Callers felt that legislators weren’t being decisive enough. One caller said he voted no on Proposal 1 because the legislators essentially punted the issue onto the electorate.  He would have accepted the changes if they had made a decision themselves, but doesn’t feel that the legislators are actually doing what they were elected to do. Another caller wants the Democrat’s business tax increases and believes the money should be put directly into the road funds instead of general funds.
  • Will Taxes Solve The Problem?: Finely says part of the issue is that responsibility falls entirely onto the anti-tax Republican house. He explains the Democrat’s plan might not work because revenue from a business tax isn’t directly tied to roads, whereas a gas tax would ensure some road funding. He believes the gas tax could be one of the best solutions because that in the current gas economy a 15 cent hike probably wouldn’t hurt the consumer too much, but it would definitely provide funding directly for the roads.

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.