Senate panel approves Victory fiscal responsibility bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved Sen. Roger Victory’s legislation to maintain fiscal responsibility in the state budget and limit the amount of new debt.

“This measure would give the Legislature — which represents the Michigan people — a voice in large transportation bonding decisions,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Even though we’re already spending over $200 million in transportation bond payments, the governor decided to run up our state debt by issuing $3.5 billion more in bonds — which will cost taxpayers over $5 billion to pay off.

“The good people of Ottawa County and our great state want a responsible, long-term plan that actually fixes the roads, not billions of dollars in more debt.”

Senate Bill 716 would require the State Transportation Commission (STC) to notify the Legislature of its intent to issue over $100 million in transportation bonds at least 30 days before authorizing the bonds.

The bill would then give the Legislature the ability to reject those bonds within 30 days.

“The commission can currently issue bonds with no legislative input — regardless of how much debt they are passing on to future generations of Michigan families,” Victory said. “This reform is about establishing some checks and balances when it comes to how we prioritize the use of taxpayer dollars.”

To protect the commission’s ability to respond timely in the case of a major infrastructure emergency, SB 716 would allow the STC to issue up to $100 million in transportation bonds annually using the current process.

SB 716 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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