82 / 61
      84 / 60
      85 / 62

      Michigan Senate contemplates boost to road funding

      The Michigan Senate is poised to consider if it's time to spend significantly more maintaining deteriorating roads.

      A Senate panel on Tuesday will hold a hearing on a House-approved plan to pump $450 million into Michigan's $2.6 billion budget for road projects. The key is whether senators will try to at least triple the marker laid down by the House.

      Generating that much money would likely require a significant increase in Michigan's 19-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax or perhaps a constitutional amendment asking voters to boost the 6 percent sales tax.

      The House legislation would raise Michigan's diesel tax to equal the gas tax and let them rise to cover construction costs if fuel prices increase. Most of the $450 million funding increase would be diverted from elsewhere in the state budget.