May 24, 2010
Michigan Senate approved Senate Bill 1164 last week on a 21-17 vote. The budget
bill includes cuts but no stable revenue sources in an attempt to come up with
the $84 million Michigan needs to qualify for $475 million in federal matching
transportation funds. In fact, the plan is built entirely on cuts,
rather than desperately needed new revenue. So, what got cut?
start with the economic development pot. The Transportation Economic
Development Fund (TEDF) was created to assist in the funding of highway, road,
and street projects necessary to support economic growth. TEDF funding was
slashed by $27 million.
– the dollars used to cut the grass and plow our streets when it snows, was
decreased by over $48 million. Welcome Center funding was also cut in half
cuts funding to the Comprehensive Transportation Funds (CTF) intended for
public transportation projects. Transit programs were slashed by $7 million.
see. Rather than raise revenues, the Senate has voted to:
- Not support the
transportation projects needed to support new or existing economic development.
- Make our roads less
safe by cutting maintenance so we can fix fewer potholes and plow the snow less
- Welcome our tourists
with tall grass, unkept right-of-ways, and closed Welcome Centers.
- Make it even more
difficult for people who rely on transit to get to work or school.
Well, what an attractive place Michigan is going to
be! Thank God we are not raising taxes! That would stop the hoards of people
who find unsafe, unmowed, and unplowed roads with little transit an attractive
place to live and raise their families from coming into our state. I can’t help
but take the sarcastic approach!
Does this sound like a place where you want to live
or move to? Me either! If you have concerns about this approach, please
call your legislator today. Let them know that this is an unacceptable way of
addressing the funding shortfall that we are dealing with. Check the SEMCOG Web
site at www.semcog.org for