Just a week after the elections, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer won her re-election by over 11 percentage points, she was asked about her priorities moving into her second term as Governor of Michigan. As has been a top priority for Governor Whitmer in her first campaign and term, road funding is one of those top priorities. MITA has been preaching for years that our traditional user fees which generate revenues for road funding are deteriorating like our roadways. As cars become more fuel efficient and electric vehicles become more popular, less gas tax revenue is generated meaning less money for road funding.
The Governor’s response was that we need an overhaul on how we fund our infrastructure. “It’s going to take a major policy change, that can’t originate from any one person.” And she is committed to finding a long term sustainable transportation funding solution and stated: “I think Michigan could show the world what a real solution looks like, but it’s not going to come from one person. It’s going to be a stakeholder-inclusive, bipartisan effort to really design an infrastructure system that is comprehensive and resilient.” Extremely important words as they indicate the Governor’s knowledge of the topic and commitment to finding a solution.
The new legislature will take some time getting started, as all new legislatures do. As that occurs, and the Governor lays out her vision in her state of the state address in early February, committee assignments will be made and work on the state’s budget will take up most of the energy in the first 6 months of 2023, if not longer. In addition, $7 billion in unspent federal stimulus money and surplus revenues will be appropriated during that time. We anticipate some of that money will go towards all infrastructure in some form.
Here is the Free Press article quoting the Governor on her thoughts regarding moving forward on a long term sustainable infrastructure funding plan.
There are a lot of unknowns and variables that exist moving into a new legislative cycle, but MITA’s goal of sustainable long term infrastructure funding will be an important topic of conversation amongst elected officials over the Governor’s second term in office. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Rob Coppersmith, Executive Vice President, at email@example.com or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.