Legislator: Cost will be passed to future generations, stunting growth
State Rep. Roger Hauck today responded to the governor’s State of the State address, which included a plan to fund road repairs through an expected $3.5 billion in bonds over the coming years.
A House Fiscal Agency report from January revealed Michigan’s government still owes over $1 billion for road projects that were approved as far back as two decades ago. An estimated $199.6 million in debt service was slated to be paid just in the current fiscal year alone.
Hauck, of Union Township, pointed out the governor’s image of a bleak future for Michigan due to the current condition of the state’s roads is contradicted by her willingness to run up a massive debt charged to the current and future drivers who are using them.
“I don’t think the state is going to have much success keeping and attracting residents when the plan is to tax them to all get-out for a select amount of roadways,” Hauck said. “The governor’s original 45-cent per gallon gas tax increase last year was met with a lot of resistance from people across the state. Instead of working within current funds to address the issue like people want, she’s again trying to foot taxpayers with a bill.”
A major issue with the 45-cent per gallon gas tax increase proposal was how few rural roads would be addressed with revenue generated at the pump – even though drivers throughout Michigan would have been forced to pay the same tax.
“Likewise, every one of our children and grandchildren will be forced to bear the brunt of these planned bonds – regardless of whether or not their local roads are seeing the amount of orange barrels the governor is setting up for southeast Michigan and larger metro areas,” Hauck said.
Hauck also focused on a continued commitment to skilled trades programs and addressing PFAS water contamination.
The second-term legislator supported funding restoration efforts for the Going PRO initiative in the most recent budget cycle after the governor vetoed funding for its existence. The program trains workers for in-demand professions in sectors such as health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, construction and automotive.
In Michigan, there will be an estimated 47,000 job openings expected annually across these fields each year through 2026.
“These are important issues as we work to make Michigan a better place to live and work,” Hauck said. “We’ve made great strides amidst a split government, including historic no-fault car insurance reforms to bring people in Isabella and Midland counties rate relief and increased funding dedicated to cleaning up sites where PFAS contamination is found. I hope we can work in unison going forward, notably on our roads.”
State Rep. Roger Hauck has been named to a temporary panel that will place Michigan House legislators on certain committees for the 2021-22 term – using their experiences and priorities to help cultivate a tailored approach for residents the Legislature serves.
State Rep. Roger Hauck of Union Township today issued the following statement after Gov. Whitmer signed his plan to provide legal protections to health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan