Richardville resolutions urge Congress to waive matching federal highway fund requirement
LANSING - The state Senate today approved two resolutions sponsored by Sen. Randy Richardville urging the federal government to waive the 20 percent state match required for transportation projects for two years. Richardville said this could save taxpayer dollars and help with the state's economic recovery.
"Michigan's unemployment rate is the highest in the nation," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "We are the only state to have surpassed the average national unemployment rate by 40 percent during the past two years. Given our increasing unemployment rate and declining state revenues, there is little chance that Michigan will have the dollars necessary to meet the federal match."
Michigan is getting approximately $982 million in federal stimulus transportation funds - only $98.18 per person. Only five states received less per capita: Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio .
Michigan has been a "donor" state since the 1950s for transportation funding - contributing a greater proportionate share to the Federal Highway Trust Fund than the share of federal funds returned to Michigan .
When it comes to federal transportation spending per capita, Michigan ranks 46th in the nation. Since 1957, the state's cumulative rate of return is 94 percent. Michigan gets 92 cents back for every $1 it sends to Washington for roads.
"We have been subsidizing other states' roads for more than 50 years," Richardville said. "I encourage Congress to recognize Michigan 's extreme financial difficulties and our status as a donor state. We simply cannot afford the required matching funds. Waiving the requirement would allow the state to begin transportation projects across Michigan and create thousands of jobs for state residents."
Waiver of the matching funds requirement is not uncommon. One of the key provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is that the federal government waived the 20 percent local match requirement for eligible state and local road and bridge projects.
"During these nearly unprecedented economic times in Michigan , the waiver should also be applied to the distribution of federal highway funds," said Richardville.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 15 will now head to the state House for further consideration.
Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Print friendly version Email this page