WLNS-TV: Group Wants Budget Surplus Put Back to Fixing Roads
Monday, January 7, 2008
Group Wants Budget Surplus Put Back to Fixing Roads
A lobbying group for Michigan roads is demanding its share of money back from the state after being hit with deep funding cuts. Just this week, lawmakers announced the state finished the 2007 fiscal year with a surplus. Now one group says some of that extra money should go back towards fixing Michigan's roads. Those lawmakers have different plans. Driving around Michigan, it's likely you'll see some cracks and potholes in the roads.
Mike Nystrom, MITA: "Our roads are crumbling, it's not something that's just happening here in Lansing, it's happening all across the state and it is a direct relation to the inadequate funding that we've had for decades."
11 million dollars were cut from Michigan's roads last year, but now that lawmakers say the state has a 350 million dollar surplus, some groups want the money that was taken to be returned.
Mike Nystrom: "You find out you have a surplus, give the money back."
Mike Nystrom is with Michigan's Infrastructure and Transportation Association. He says putting the extra money back into the roads could help turn around the struggling state.
Mike Nystrom: "We have to put money into our infrastructure that will help attract businesses, to help the businesses that already are doing well."
Lawmakers agree that the state is struggling, but they say, instead of giving the money back, it should be saved for Michigan's future.
Rick Jones, (R) Grand Ledge: "We should not just spend it Willy nilly, we should very carefully put the money aside and balance the budget this session."
But Nystrom says, if the money is saved, he worries it won't be put towards the roads, and he says neglecting our roads could mean many more years of potholes.