LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) won an amendment to House Bill 4613 today to cap administrative costs for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) at 7 percent of its total budget. The bill was voted out of the Special House Committee on Roads and Economic Development today. Dianda is one of two Democratic members of the committee.
“Currently, MDOT is operating with its administrative costs running at about 8 percent of its total budget, which means in the last fiscal year they spent $236 million on administrative costs,” said Dianda. “I believe we have to ask MDOT to do better and operate with these costs at 7 percent, as many of our local road commissions do. If MDOT operated at 7 percent, that would have been $31 million that could have gone toward our roads in 2014 – not a lot of money, but more than we had, and every dollar helps.”
Since first joining the House of Representatives, Dianda, a former MDOT employee, has fought for more efficiencies and accountability from the department. State law allows MDOT to operate with administrative costs as high as 10 percent.
Dianda’s amendment would lower that to 7 percent and then direct that savings to county and city road funds. Of the savings realized from this, 33 percent would be distributed to cities, villages and townships, and 66 percent would be distributed to counties.
After voters defeated Proposal 1, which would have raised new revenues for road repairs, House Republicans introduced their plan to fund road repairs by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit that helps the working poor and possibly cutting funding for programs like Pure Michigan.
“I want to know that every dollar MDOT can spare is directed toward repairing road surfaces, and my amendment is a step in that process,” said Dianda. “Before we raise taxes on our hardworking families to pay for the roads, we need to know that MDOT is operating efficiently and spending its money wisely.”