Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 15, 2014

George Weeks: Reflections on incentives, highway fixes

Go figure. The GOP-ruled Legislature last week passed a budget that included more money than Republican Gov. Rick Snyder wanted as incentives for Hollywood to film in Michigan but recessed without acting on what he sought to fix Michigan’s deplorable pothole-ridden highways.

Before leaving for their 12-week summer break, lawmakers sent Snyder a $37.4 billion budget that includes $50 million for film incentives (he recommended $25 million). But they left without acting on his far more important $1.2 billion plan for repairing and maintaining highways.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said it well about roads: “It’s a difficult vote. But sooner or later, you have to bite the bullet and do the difficult things.” Snyder remains hopeful that his party will do the difficult thing.

As reported by The Detroit News, Snyder said the spirited debate among lawmakers on how to better fund road repairs shows “progress is being made” on an issue atop his agenda.

“So let’s look at the positive side — we’ve moved closer to getting a long-term solution in place.”

Not surprisingly, Democratic State Chairman Lon Johnson looked at the negative side, lamenting “continued failure of Lansing Republicans to take any action on fixing our roads.” He said Friday:

“Instead of taking action and fix the roads for Michigan drivers and businesses, Republican Gov. Snyder jetted off to New York twice in the last week, for a fundraiser with billionaire Michael Bloomberg and an interview with Fox news.

“The failure to take any action on fixing Michigan’s roads demonstrates an incredible lack of leadership, and falls squarely on Republicans in Lansing. The only winners in this week’s embarrassing, failing display are the auto mechanics fixing the damages to our cars caused by our horrible roads.”

Snyder may be right — I believe he is — wthat a long-term solution could emerge when the Legislature resumes after the recess.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up