LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Thursday introduced legislation that would prevent the state from being saddled with more debt as discussions on how to fix the state’s crumbling roads continue.
“We have spent the last several years looking at responsible ways to fix our roads that don’t place an overwhelming debt on the next generation’s shoulders,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Unfortunately, the governor’s approach was to push a 45 cents per gallon tax increase, increase our debt by billions, and then veto $375 million in the state’s budget for roads and bridges. We need to dedicate more resources to rebuilding our roads, bridges and water infrastructure without massive increases in taxes and debt.”
Senate Bill 379 would require legislative approval to issue bonds for road projects and would help limit the state’s debt obligations by reducing the amount of funding that can go toward debt each year from 50% to 20% of state transportation funds.
The bill would also require ongoing reporting of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s debt position and status of each active bond series.
“We can’t simply keep swiping the credit card to pay for the state’s infrastructure needs,” Nesbitt said. “This bill focuses on the state’s long-term financial status and obligations and prevents state government from overstretching residents with debt.”
The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for further consideration.