Former Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Whitmer’s Roads Bond: ‘Any Option Better Than This One’

Calley says not enough time was spent trying to make a viable road funding plan happen, and has a few ideas that he considers better than the bond plan.

Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to borrow more than $3 billion for roads in Michigan.

“It needs to be a negotiation.” – Brian Calley, Small Business Association of Michigan

The funds would not be used to for local roads, but would instead rebuild deteriorating state highways and bridges. Some are enthusiastic about any plan to address crumbling roads throughout the state, but critics, including Former Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, say the borrowing plan “is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place.”

Calley says plans like this allow for a bump in road quality for a few years but it’s not a sustainable model for the long term.

Click on the player above to hear Stephen Henderson’s conversation about road funding with Brian Calley.


Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Associate of Michigan and former Lieutenant Governor under Rick Snyder.

Calley says he thinks there are multiple alternative funding methods for roads that are better than the current plan.

Whitmer’s plan is “spending the next generation of road maintenance money on projects today.” – Brian Calley, Small Business Association of Michigan

“It needs to be a negotiation,” says Calley pointing to how things played out last year in Lansing. “The governor put an option on the table, the Republicans didn’t like it, they put three other options on the table. She didn’t like any of those options, end of discussion.”

Calley stresses the importance of being comfortable with being uncomfortable when negotiating. Whether its gas taxes, registration fees, general fund support or toll roads, Calley says any other option is better than “spending the next generation of road maintenance money on projects today.”

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