Victory bill would help preserve fiscal responsibility

Victory bill would help preserve fiscal responsibility

Senator Roger Victory

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Roger Victory introduced legislation Tuesday that would help ensure the state maintains fiscal responsibility.

Senate Bill 716 would require the State Transportation Commission (STC) to notify the Legislature 30 days prior to issuing any transportation bonds in excess of $100 million and would give the Legislature the authority to reject the issuance of those bonds within 30 days.

“Currently, the STC has unilateral authority to issue bonds at any time, with no legislative oversight,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “Once the STC issues bonds, it is the Legislature that is responsible for allocating those dollars and making the bond payments in our budget — sometimes for years to come.

“This bill is necessary for maintaining the balance of powers and ensuring that the state does not overextend itself with long-term liabilities.”

The legislation would allow the STC to issue up to $100 million in transportation bonds annually without legislative authority to ensure the ability for a timely response in case of a major infrastructure emergency.

“In the fiscal year 2020 budget, we are paying more than $200 million in transportation bond payments — money that otherwise could be used to improve our roads,” Victory said. “This measure provides the Legislature with a critical safeguard and will help us continue to work on maximizing our existing funding for roads.”

SB 716 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

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