Bills seek lasting maintenance of Michigan Capitol

Nov 30, 2013

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan lawmakers are pushing to create a lasting fund for maintenance of the 135-year-old state Capitol.

Bills that could win approval in December would overhaul the building's oversight, make it a state historic site and create a permanent maintenance fund.

It's been 21 years since a major restoration of the Capitol was finished. Keeping the building in good shape, though, has been tougher than expected.

The intent of the legislation is to make decisions like painting the dome and fixing the roof less "political." Nothing would stop lawmakers from pulling money out of the proposed fund for other purposes, but supporters say having an ongoing revenue source from tobacco taxes is better than leaving it to legislators to set aside funding for Capitol upkeep.