FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, Dec. 4, 2014
LANSING – Leaders from schools across Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties today called on the Michigan Legislature to approve the transportation plan passed by the Senate in November and supported by Governor Rick Snyder.
“Michigan needs good roads and bridges, and the Senate-passed transportation proposal provides the most responsible way of maintaining them,” said Robert D. Livernois, Superintendent, Warren Consolidated Schools. “Good roads and well-maintained bridges are a priority for Michigan businesses, local communities and families who use them every day, whether going to work or to school. Gov. Snyder and the Senate deserve credit for presenting a common-sense roads plan, and it’s time for the Legislature to approve it.”
“Schools across Michigan depend on good roads and safe bridges,” said Chris Wigent, Superintendent, Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency. “Gov. Snyder and the Senate proposed a plan that can help strengthen Michigan’s roads and bridges in a responsible way that protects school funding. The Legislature should do the reasonable thing and approve this common-sense, comprehensive proposal without further delay.”
The Michigan Senate approved a plan on Nov. 13 that raises $1 billion annually to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges, by changing the gas tax formula from 19 cents per gallon at the pump to a wholesale tax starting at 9.5 percent to 15.5 percent by Jan. 1, 2018.
In contrast, final details have emerged on the House’s plan which could result in school funds losing out on as much as $800 million by 2020. It is expected to include non-binding language hoping that future legislatures will backfill the significant annual cut to school funding.
“While schools appreciate the intent of the House, the Governor’s plan is the only one that assures the improvement of our roads will not jeopardize our kids’ education,” said George Heitsch, Superintendent, Farmington Public Schools. “We strongly urge the Legislature to protect our students and approve the Governor’s plan without further delay.”