State house gave a green light to a bill to provide millions for - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

State house gave a green light to a bill to provide millions for improving the roads

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LANSING (WJRT) - (05/08/14) - Late Thursday afternoon, the state house gave a green light to a bill to provide an additional $450 million to fix our broken roads.
     
Some say it's a short term solution at best.

After a harsh winter, drivers are having to deal with pot holes all over the place. Pretty soon, they may see even more barrels up.

Lawmakers say the extra money will help, but they say the $450 million is not a long-term solution.
     
Representative Stacey Erwin Oakes is a supporter of this package, but she's urging the state to do more.

"It will take care of a third of the problem and it does not deal with local transportation systems, whether that be the buses that are used in the rural areas, nor does it deal with the bridges, which many of us know we're receiving failing grades on," she said.

The house  voted Thursday to permanently shift tax dollars from Michigan's general fund to transportation spending. It now heads to the Senate.

"Currently, the way that the bill is written I can't support it, it's taking way too much money from general fund to basically put over to transportation and it's really not going to solve the problem whatsoever," said Rep. Charles Smiley.
     
Anita Richardson with the Michigan Department of Transportation says this is a good start, but more money is needed.  
     
She says it would allow them to maintain roads and to keep the one's that are in fair condition from deteriorating into poor road condition.
     
"I want to sit down and talk, I want to come up with something that's going to be substantial and really take care of the needs that all of us are faced with everyday, pot holes. The condition of our roads, the condition of our bridges," Smiley said.

"It's definitely a step closer and a step in the right direction, which is why it will have my support, but ultimately I don't want it to be seen as the end all solution because it is not," Oakes said.

Lawmakers say it would take about $2 billion to get the roads up to par.
 
Rep. Joseph Graves says a big portion of the new money would go directly to road commissions to work on local projects.
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