UPDATE: State Senate passes road funding bills

UPDATE — 8:05 a.m. July 2, 2015 (EDT)

The Michigan Senate has voted yes to the ‘Fix MI Roads’ proposal, but only by a small margin.

According to documents on the Michigan Legislature’s website, House Bills 4615 and 4616 were approved Wednesday thanks to a tie-breaking vote by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley. Other bills related to the proposed changes were also approved.

The bills will head back to the House for review.

LANSING — A new bill is in the works right now that would be a long-term solution to fix Michigan’s roads.

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The bill, which is being called ‘Fix MI Roads,’ was introduced to the Michigan Senate today in Lansing. If passed in its current format, the bill would get MDOT and county road commissions across the state $700 million right off the bat. The gas tax would also increase from nineteen cents a gallon to thirty-four cents a gallon over a three-year span.

“If the fifteen cents were put in place, then that puts us right in line with the surrounding states in the Great Lakes region as far as the amount of money that’s being taxed on gasoline to go over their roads, and that’s Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, the rest of the states are all about in that ballpark, which is in the 30 to 35 cents a gallon going to roads,” said Senator Tom Casperson.

“I would definitely take a look at that entire package, and I would be in support only if we have the structural changes like we passed out of the special committee. We want to see the warranties. We want to make sure that the full formula is applied, and you know from our aspect up here in the U.P., I just want to make sure that the counties and the villages and the cities get their fair share,” said Representative Scott Dianda.

The bill would have to be passed by the senate before it would make its way to the house for review. Stay with ABC 10 and abc10up.com for the latest about this bill.