Governor Whitmer Road Finance Update

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Recently, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) presented the Governor’s fiscal year 2020-21 Transportation Budget Recommendation to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation; which I am the Minority Vice Chair to. In the Governor’s budget recommendation, MDOT released the new construction expenditure figures following the Governor’s decision to levy $3.52 billion in municipal bonds to aid road projects across the state. I fully support Gov. Whitmer’s plan to aid road funding and would like to explain how I view the solution.

What is a municipal bond? Bonding means the state Department of treasury will sell state transportation bonds, which will be financed through existing gas tax revenues. This works like a long-term, low-interest loan to raise money now so we can make progress on fixing our down-and-out infrastructure. I support that Gov. Whitmer’s strategy and believe she is doing what is best for the people of this state with the resources available to her. Governor John Engler bonded for road and infrastructure improvements back in the 1990s. Now, as that debt expires, it is an opportune time to take advantage of current low interest rates in order to put people to work fixing our doggone roads.

The impact of the $3.52 billion in bond funding for road construction is apparent: 122 Projects added to the 5-year plan while increasing the pavement life cycle for each road project. The extra revenue coming from state bond financing will allow MDOT to update their 5-year Rebuilding Michigan plan from rehabilitation methods to reconstruction methods. This will significantly increase the life of the road projects.

If you have further questions about the Governor’s Executive Budget Recommendation or MDOT’s Rebuilding Michigan plan you may contact me at my office (517) 373-1771 or by email at Ronniepeterson@house.mi.gov. I’ve included some links below to the Michigan Department of Transportation website.

Rebuilding Michigan project list with projects that are new or bond financed highlighted can be found by clicking here.

Bonds will be issued for 49 projects, which will rebuild major freeways and bridges in the state’s most heavily traveled corridors. The plan also allows another 73 projects to be expedited or broadened in scope. The complete list of bond funded projects can be found by clicking here.