Counties praise revenue sharing boost in governor’s FY20 budget; call roads plan a ‘bold start’ to debate

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed fiscal 2020 budget carries many positive notes for county government in Michigan, said the executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties.

“Obviously, it’s great to see the 3 percent increase in county revenue sharing funds, as revenue sharing is the key promise from the state to counties to help with delivery of vital local services,” said Stephan Currie, MAC’s executive director.

Whitmer’s budget, released today during a presentation in downtown Lansing, would move county revenue sharing totals to just over $228 million, up from the $221.4 million in the fiscal 2019 budget.

Another positive note was the governor’s call for a significant investment in dealing with the PFAS contamination in Michigan waters.

On infrastructure, Currie said counties see the governor’s proposal to raise the gasoline tax by 45 cents a “bold proposal that gets the conversation started.”

The governor calls for raising $2.5 billion for roads by increasing the gas tax 45 cents by Oct. 1, 2020. Money generated would go to a new “Fixing Michigan Roads Fund” for the most “highly traveled and commercially important roads” at the state and local levels, reports the Governor’s Office.

MAC joins call for state attention to infrastructure crisis

roads image mliveMAC joined with a broad coalition of government and business groups at a May 30 event to highlight the ongoing, and worsening, crisis in Michigan’s physical infrastructure.

“Sound infrastructure is vital for economic growth. The drivers of our economy: manufacturing, agriculture and tourism depend on it,” said Andy Johnston, vice president of government affairs for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “Infrastructure must be a data-driven discussion, and the data is clear. The Legislature needs to keep the funding promises made in 2015 for roads and begin laying the foundation to address other vital infrastructure systems.”

MAC’s Transportation Platform calls for “the logical development, interconnection and sustained maintenance of all transportation designs and infrastructures within our state.”

For more on the issue, see the press release, or visit fixmistate.org.