Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Borton: Transportation budget filled with ridiculous projects, ideas
RELEASE|May 9, 2024
Contact: Ken Borton

State Rep. Ken Borton on Wednesday slammed the Democrat Department of Transportation budget for lacking key funding for local roads. Instead, the budget included $15 million for aerial drones and $3 million for electric bike incentives. Recent research found that Michigan ranks 47th nationally regarding the quality of pavement roads.

“People in Northern Michigan couldn’t care less about drones and electric bikes,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “In fact, the only time many of them have seen them is watching Back to the Future. I don’t think we should be governing through ideas in sci-fi movies from the 80s. If Democrats keep their stranglehold on power, I’m starting to wonder if we’ll start seeing proposals like $60 million for flying vehicle infrastructure or $1 billion for time machine feasibility studies.”

The MDOT budget also includes $5 million for the state to develop and implement a road usage tax. Democrats have been publicly discussing the potential tax that would require every Michigan driver to install a tracker in their car so the government can monitor the miles they’ve driven and tax them accordingly. Democrats claim this would replace the current 28.6 cent gas tax. Republicans are skeptical that Democrats could ever actually get rid of a tax while they impose a new one.

“People in Northern Michigan are not going to like the idea of government keeping tabs on everywhere they go,” Borton said. “Democrats are getting all too willing to encourage government to make bigger and bigger oversteps onto our rights in rural Michigan.”

Democrats are painting the budget as an increase in road funding for local municipalities. But all new funding is automatic and results from a 2015 Republican plan to ensure future road funding. That plan is considered the only successful effort to boost road funding in decades.

Republicans noted that while small increases are important, there are no general fund dollars allocated to boost our local road agencies. Additionally, the amount of wasteful spending in the ‘general government budget,’ hidden in secret line items for future use, could fully fund the most urgent local road repairs.


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