LANSING – House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint), state Representative Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser) and state Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) today said that before talk on any long-term road funding plan starts, the Legislature should take preventive measures by agreeing to pass bipartisan bills that will preserve and protect our roads while legislators work on a long-term funding plan. The legislators suggested they start by passing Lane’s and Bieda’s bills, House Bill 4257 and Senate Bill 168, respectively, which would lower truck weight limits from 164,000 to 80,000 pounds and other proposals that will be offered such as road warranties.
“We have a responsibility to get to work now by immediately passing common-sense bills – like truck weight limits and warranties – that will directly improve the roads,” said Greimel.
Road warranties would give the public some peace of mind knowing that road construction companies will be held to certain standards and timelines that would guarantee their work and that it is done on time.
“There are some simple steps that we can take today to start on fixing our roads, including taking up these bipartisan bills to address truck weights,” said Ananich. “A compromise is there, and hopefully this is the first step in reaching it.”
Lane introduced the same bill last year and argued for its passage up until legislation authorizing Proposal 1 was passed.
“My bill is one piece of the road funding puzzle and it’s a very good place to start because it will immediately help us preserve and protect the pavement by stopping some of the damage that is occurring now,” said Lane. “We need to start talking now about road funding and long-term solutions, but we also have to think of ways to at least keep the roads from getting any worse. We know that overweight trucks cause damage. Let’s start by passing bipartisan bills that will address some of the road issues we’re facing while we talk about long-term solutions.”
In the wake of Proposal 1’s defeat, the bills would provide immediate relief to Michigan’s crumbling roads while a more permanent road solution is developed.
“As we in the Legislature begin to roll up our sleeves and get to work on a new roads plan, a key component is making sure that overweight trucks that use and do significant damage to our roads are paying their fair share,” said Bieda. “Michigan’s antiquated laws on truck weights have contributed to our crumbling roads for too long, and it’s time we shore them up. Trucks and businesses need to contribute their fair share to improving the roads we all use.”