LANSING, Mich. — Last week, Representatives Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights), Patrick Green (D-Warren), and Michigan Operating Engineers 324hosted a Telephone Town Hall meeting for Michigan residents focused on how to improve the state’s roads and infrastructure. They discussed their push to add more funding to fix the problem and legislation to help drivers who have had their vehicles damaged by potholes.
“Car repairs needed due to our poor roads are a hidden tax of which the average Michigan driver is paying hundreds of dollars a year,” said Rep. Yanez. “The leaders in charge of our state government for over seven years now have failed to fix our roads. They either need to be part of the solution or get out of the way.”
Rep. Yanez, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, has consistently voted to put more resources into long-term solutions for Michigan and Macomb county’s roads, bridges, and pipes.
More than 1,500 residents joined the call for some portion of time with over 300 participating at the peak discussion. Their questions touched on why the roads have not been fixed already, whether better materials could be used, what impact large trucks have, and why it seems like average families pay more but corporations are not contributing their fair share toward transportation and infrastructure costs.
“Better roads and safe bridges protect our families and our finances,” said Rep. Green. “Yet the state of our roads continuously wreaks havoc on our vehicles and our wallets. That’s why I introduced legislation to improve the process for reimbursement and increase the amount when a pothole damages someone’s car. We already have to pay higher registration and gas taxes so we shouldn’t have the added burden of outrageous car repairs.”
Right now, Michigan residents have to prove the city has known about a pothole for over 30 days and can only receive up to $1,000 for damages. Legislation Rep. Green is working on would change it to just seven days and increase the cap to $5,000.
“We have workers who know how to get the job done and are itching to get started, this just has to be a higher priority for Lansing,” said Ken Dombrow, President of Michigan Operating Engineers 324.
The event was sponsored by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) and Michigan Operating Engineers 324.