Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says the failure of lawmakers to approve a comprehensive bill to address Michigan’s road crisis is “no big deal.”
That will only be true if the Legislature reconvenes at some point this summer to do the job voters sent them to Lansing to do.
If they allow the road funding issue to remain unsettled until fall, their inability to pass a bill before the summer adjournment will become a very big deal. Michigan will have lost another construction season and will head into winter with roads more rutted and bumpy than they’ve been since horse and buggy days.
Richardville is right that the $285 million lawmakers managed to patch together for roads Thursday night will allow some work to proceed this summer. But it’s not nearly enough to get them where they need to be before another freeze and thaw season begins.
Lawmakers must interrupt this 12-week vacation at some point — the earlier the better — and come back to work to finish the job.
Passing higher taxes is politically risky in an election year. But no more so than allowing the roads to continue to crumble.