LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved Sen. Roger Victory’s legislation to maintain fiscal responsibility in the state budget and limit the amount of new debt.
“This reform would re-establish necessary checks and balances when it comes to how we prioritize the use of taxpayer dollars,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Michigan is currently spending over $200 million each year on transportation bond payments, but the governor has decided to add even more to our state debt by issuing $3.5 billion in bonds — which will cost Michigan families more than $5 billion to pay off.
“Hardworking folks in Ottawa County and across our great state want an affordable, long-term plan that actually fixes the roads, not billions of dollars in more debt.”
Senate Bill 716 would require the State Transportation Commission 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 pass on to future generations,” Victory said. “This measure is about giving the Legislature — which represents the Michigan people — a voice in large transportation bonding decisions.”
To protect the state’s ability to respond timely in the case of a major infrastructure emergency, SB 716 would allow the commission to issue up to $100 million in transportation bonds annually using the current process.
SB 716 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.