West Michigan House Dems: Let’s Go Back to Lansing and Fix Our Roads

Lawmakers tell House Republicans to finish their job before taking a vacation
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LANSING – Three West Michigan House Democrats urged Republicans to cut their summer vacations short and return to the state Capitol to finish one of the state’s most pressing jobs: finding a way to fund long-overdue road repairs. House Republicans opted to leave the task undone last week and left Lansing to take a 12-week vacation, even though House Democrats objected and wanted to stay on the job until a solution was found.

“It was unconscionable for House Republicans to walk off the job and take a three-month vacation instead of buckling down and finding a way to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges,” Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) said. “I hear from people every day who want our roads fixed now, and I’m sure my Republican counterparts hear the same. To tell the people of Michigan that their vacation was more important than the need to fix our roads is almost beyond belief, yet that’s what they’ve done.”

It’s estimated that Michigan will require more than $1 billion a year to repair Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure. But despite holding the governor’s office, a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate, Republicans weren’t able to find a way to make the repairs. “Instead of staying on the job until a solution was found, legislative Republicans gave up,” Rep. Collene Lamonte (D-Montague) said. “That’s not leadership, and the hardworking Michiganders who navigate potholes and crumbling streets to make it to work each day deserve better.”

The Legislature tried to find a road funding solution last week, but Republicans gave up when they couldn’t find a plan. Rather than quit and go home, House Democrats voted against adjourning for the summer, but Republicans in the majority voted to leave for vacation. House Democrats are ready to return to Lansing each day until a road funding solution is found, and are inviting Republicans back to Lansing to finish the job.

“I am willing to drive over decaying roads and bridges in dire need of repair to get to Lansing each day in order to find a way to fix Michigan roads,” Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon) said. “We were elected by Michiganders to be their voice and to find solutions to the problems facing our state. That must come first, not summer vacation.”