Michigan business leaders call for road finance solutions

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The conversation continues as trade officials push for a financial plan for Michigan’s crumbling roads.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plan calls for a

state gasoline tax to fund road repairs. However, state lawmakers are divided over where the money comes from.

Business leaders just want lawmakers to come up with a proposal when they return to session next week.

“This is a statewide problem that requires a state solution,” said Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

“The governor has come up with a way. It’s a viable way, but we’re open to seeing if there are other options as well,” said Business Leaders for Michigan president and CEO Doug Rothwell.

“The process we’re going through is secondary,” added Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. “There is a public publication of a legislative plan or a private publication that is discussed with the governor. Ultimately, as long as there is a plan that raises $ 2 billion to $ 2.5 billion to fix our roads , I don’t care how it is made public. In the meantime, let’s solve the problem.

“Governor Whitmer was very clear when she put forward the proposition that this $ 2.5 billion is the current cost,” said Monica Ackerson, executive vice president of the Michigan Road Preservation Association. “In a few years, based on projections of what will happen to our road network, that number will be $ 3.5 billion.

“Many local communities have risen to the challenge and approved local voting proposals and mileage increases to do what we can locally,” Studley added. “But that kind of piecemeal approach doesn’t give us the statewide network of interstate highways, state trunk lines, county roads and local streets that we need to. supporting Michigan’s three major industries. “

Studley named manufacturing, travel and tourism, and agribusiness as the main industries.


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