Closer To “Fix The Damn Roads”
Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer still plans to keep her somewhat famous campaign pledge to “Fix The Damn Roads”. Many state residents and political foes have poked fun at her for that pledge since not much has happened. Jeff Cranson is the chief spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He places the blame on majority Republicans in both the State House of Representatives and the Michigan State Senate. Cranson tells a Detroit TV station if state lawmakers had approved the Governor’s $0.45 a gallon gasoline tax, a lot would already have been accomplished. As a result of the impasse, the Governor pulled an end-around on the legislature and ordered a huge borrowing plan for billions of dollars. Even that hasn’t gone very far. Until now. Cranson says the first set of state bonds valued at about $800 million, will be offered up for sale within the next few weeks.
Bonds work like a loan. The state sells bonds to investors. The investors lend the state the amount of the purchased bonds for a set period of time in exchange for regularly scheduled interest payments. The potential interest, on top of billions in bonds that have to be repaid, is what has many state lawmakers up in arms. They can’t stop the process without a court order. Many lawmakers claim Michigan residents, will be paying a huge price tag for all this. They say an easier fix is a new distribution formula to handle the state’s $.06 a gallon gas tax. That’s something the Governor, however, refused to consider.