Schmidt supports 2020 transportation budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Wayne Schmidt on Tuesday joined his colleagues in voting to approve the fiscal year 2020 transportation budget.

“Road funding has been a top issue in Lansing for some time and we have made steady progress fighting back from decades of disinvestment,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “We’re currently seeing the results of previous road funding measures as orange barrels line roadways across the state, and this budget will continue that progress.”

Senate Bill 149 would invest $5.4 billion in transportation in FY 2020, an increase of more than $2 billion since FY 2010. The bill would fully implement the $1.2 billion roads plan from 2015 a year ahead of schedule and add $400 million for local road and bridge constructions.

“If signed into law, Michigan would spend more in the coming fiscal year on roads than at any time in our state’s history — and we’d be doing it without a 45-cent gas tax increase,” Schmidt said. “The transportation budget passed today was built on existing resources and takes another big step toward addressing a roads problem that is decades in the making.”

Schmidt added that discussions will continue in Lansing as legislators seek a viable, long-term solution to fund Michigan’s infrastructure needs.

“Discussions will continue with my colleagues and the administration on a long-term plan, but today we tightened our belts and enacted a balanced budget that increases funding for our roads using resources we currently have,” Schmidt said.

The legislation will now go before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for final consideration.

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Photo caption: State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, speaks on the Senate floor as the 2020 budget plans were being debated by the upper chamber.