Lawmaker: We have the chance to find a permanent, long-lasting solution
LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, on Tuesday released the following statement in response to voters rejecting Proposal 1:
“The taxpayers sent a very clear message today with their rejection of proposal 1 — no new taxes. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the administration and the state Legislature should hear this message loud and clear.
“As far as I am concerned, five months were just wasted. We in the state Legislature now need to move in the most aggressive fashion to free up funds badly needed for road repair. First and foremost, we need to prioritize spending and make the necessary cuts so we can free up the money we need to fix our roads. Everything is fair game to go on the table; there will be no sacred cows.
“We need to re-write our state’s chief funding mechanism for road repair — Public Act 51 — because it greatly favors the rural areas of our state at the expense of our urban areas, namely Macomb County. However, this will not happen unless the legislators in the rural areas are given something significant in return. This is only fair and it’s the prudent thing to do. This will require skilled negotiations, but I am confident it can happen.
“Trucks have been given a free pass for decades. This cannot happen anymore. They are going to have to start paying their fair share. Michigan has the most liberal weight laws in the country and they must be changed. If our weight laws do not change, I will be supportive of higher fees for the trucking industry.
“Another way we can find funding is through repealing the Michigan’s prevailing wage laws. Why should taxpayers have to pay union-scale wages on government-sponsored construction programs? This practice must end because it has been proven that repealing prevailing wage would free up $224 million per year.
“In closing, it is time to get off the status quo corner and make the tough decisions to improve our roads. The public demands it.”