Michigan Lawmakers Agree to Add $400 Million in General Funds to Transportation

AASHTO Journal, 22 May 2015

Legislative leaders and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder have struck a budget framework agreement that will shift $400 million of general fund revenue into transportation projects for the coming fiscal year, news agencies reported.

That follows a May 5 voter rejection of a major transportation funding plan that would have raised the state sales tax, motor fuel fees and vehicle licensing costs. The ballot measure would have dedicated an extra $1.2 billion a year into road and bridge improvements plus $112 million for transit and about $650 million outside of transportation.

Snyder said at the time that “while voters didn’t support this particular proposal, we know they want action taken to maintain and improve our roads and bridges.”

While the legislative accord will add much less in transportation funding than the ballot measure would have provided, it is up from $113 million that Snyder proposed in his budget to shift out of the general fund surplus. So the agreement adds another $287 million, the Detroit News reported.

That marks the fifth straight year Michigan has shifted general fund revenue to transportation, the AP reported, and the $400 million transfer is up from $337 million in the last fiscal year. The AP also said lawmakers were able to allocate more general funds to transportation projects this time because forecasts for tax receipts recently improved.

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