Franz discusses transportation bill at public meeting.

January 12, 2015

ray_franz_ludington_meeting_1By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — State Representative Ray Franz hosted a community meeting Monday night at Ludington City Hall. The primary topic of the evening was the state’s transportation bill that the legislature passed in a late night session right before it recessed for the year. The $1.9 billion bill will require a vote of the people because it requires increasing the state sales tax. Franz, a Republican from Onekama, who represents Mason County, is opposed to the bill because only $800 million of the bill will go towards roads and bridges.

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Franz explained the bill to the nearly 40-people present.

“When most people think about this, they think about roads and bridges,” Franz said. “That’s not what the folks in Lansing think.”

Transportation bill breakdown of funding.

Transportation bill breakdown of funding.

Attendees asked Franz about various segments of the bill and also about the previous House of Representatives bills that would have raised $1.2 billion. Both bills would have been devoted towards roads and bridges repairs but were voted down by the Senate. 

Mason County Road Commission Director Wayne Schoonover said studies have shown to fix Michigan roads, the state will need to generate at least $2.1 billion for roads and bridges. He asked Franz if there were any plans to generate that much income rather than around $1 billion, about half.

“No there aren’t any proposals,” Franz said. “I’m not a big fan of throwing that much money at any particular issue at any one time.” He added that economic growth will help generate more income.