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Gov. Snyder vetos road bill, cities will continue to pay part of the bill

Jul 1, 2016

Gov. Rick Snyder today vetoed a road funding bill aimed at giving some relief to cities.

Right now, cities with more than 25,000 people have to share the costs of nearby state trunk line road construction projects. Senate Bill 557 sought to end that practice. It passed both the state House and Senate with big majorities.

Those supporting the bill said forcing cities to pay for a portion of these state road construction projects puts an unfair burden on cities, even though many people from outside those cities would benefit from the projects. Cities, supporters said, have less money to support their own road projects because of the requirement.

The city of Troy, for example, will have to pay $9.6 million over the next eight years for the upcoming I-75 road construction project.

Today in his veto letter, Gov. Snyder said the bill goes too far, and would mean less money for other road construction projects around the state.

From his letter:

The funding gap this bill creates will force MDOT to reallocate project funding from less urbanized areas to fund higher priority state trunk line urban projects. This would mean less "main street" local focused projects, as funding would be redirected to higher priority projects such as I-75 and I-94.

Gov. Snyder called on the Legislature instead to rework how road funding works in the state by rewriting the state's entire transportation law, Public Act 51. He asked the Legislature to do this by the end of the year. 

Those supporting the bill are upset at Gov. Snyder's veto.

State Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, sponsored the bill.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

"I just can’t believe that he thinks that the cities should pay for roads that they don’t own," Knollenberg said. "It’s utterly ridiculous. It’s simply unfair and I can’t believe he didn’t understand that."

Knollenberg indicated that a veto override might be possible.