Editor’s Note: Lansing punts again on roads

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

The deal to direct $400 million from the General Fund toward fixing Michigan’s despicable roads does not come close to resolving the state’s most urgent crisis, and lawmakers should not be allowed to pretend it does.

Michigan needs $1.2 billion in additional funds a year — at least — to make its highways smooth and safe. That will require more than gimmicks and fund shifts.

But instead of committing to a brutal summer of negotiations on a genuine, long-term solution, Gov. Rick Snyder is allowing lawmakers off the hook once again with a flimsy patch.

The only specific money identified in the deal is the $25 million gained by cutting the film subsidy in half. The bulk of the funds supposedly will come from an anticipated $217 million budget surplus from higher tax revenue. The key word there is anticipated. Last year, the expected surplus turned into a deficit.

Michigan’s policymakers are again shirking their responsibility. The state needs a huge infusion of real dollars to fix roads that the governor himself described as deadly during the failed Proposal 1 campaign.

The people of Michigan are getting flim-flam when the situation demands courageous leadership.

The deal the slackers in Lansing cut this week will make no noticeable difference in dangerous roads that are destined now to continue to deteriorate for at least another year.