Some Lawmakers Want Road Funding Alternative

Jan 29, 2015

State Capitol - file photo
Credit Melissa Benmark / WKAR

There’s some talk at the state Capitol about passing a legislative alternative to the May ballot proposal that would boost road funding. 

Some lawmakers want to approve a backup plan that would only take effect if voters reject raising the sales tax from six percent to seven percent.

“I think it would be prudent for us to start working on the alternative,” said state Rep. Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Twp. “I think the public needs to know, if it doesn’t pass on May 5th, what is the alternative?”

Forlini says an alternative plan should include changing the way the state distributes road money to local governments.

“I believe we can use those dollars that we’re using right now in the state more efficiently if we put it to the problem areas. Some of the donor counties are the ones that have the worst roads.”

The talk comes as recent polling and analysis suggests the ballot proposal may be in trouble. Other lawmakers say reaching a deal on another road funding plan before May is unrealistic. And state House leadership is not embracing the idea.

“We’ve already had a discussion in the Legislature about that particular idea and came to a strong, bipartisan agreement on the current solution. We’re focused on moving forward with the current plan,” 

said Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for state House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant.