LANSING – State Representative Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit) said today that the Republican plan possibly taking $600 million dollars from funding that helps communities provide police and fire services and programs that benefit families and senior citizens is a non-starter.
“House Republicans haven’t said where this $600 million is coming from, but we already know that they usually target revenue sharing to cities and programs, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, that serve low-wage workers and struggling families,” said Durhal. “Cities have to provide police and fire service and pick up the trash. Families, senior citizens and children rely on critical state programs for their health and well-being. I can’t agree to a roads plan that leaves questions about who will sacrifice what to pay for fixing and maintaining our roads.”
House Republicans have not clarified where they would find $600 million in the state budget to redirect to the roads. $600 million in new revenues would be raised in part by changes to car registration fees and a 5 cent increase in the gas tax.
Critical human service programs could suffer from money lost to the roads, and also from a loss of federal Medicaid match dollars if the state doesn’t come up with a solution to raise enough state matching funds through the Health Insurance Claims Act (HICA). If the state can’t raise its matching funds, then the loss of federal matching funds means Medicaid programs would suffer.
“Cities have had to make do with less revenue sharing from the state for some time now, and it’s hurt the services they offer residents, businesses and industries,” said Durhal. “Families have less money in their wallets and pocketbooks because of lost tax deductions and credits. Any more cuts means that we may not be able to attract new businesses and jobs to our communities, and families may fall deeper into poverty. We can’t fund our roads on the backs of our residents. I’m ready to work with my Republican colleagues to craft a responsible plan that identifies a long-term, permanent and sustainable solution to fund our roads without doing greater harm to Michigan residents.”