News Story

Whitmer gives the state billions in pork, corporate welfare, not better roads

A slight improvement in roads matched by their continued long-term decline

The latest annual report from the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council shows that Michigan's roads are slightly better now than they were when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer entered office. But projections show she is further away from the goal of making long-term improvements. Whitmer borrowed billions for a temporary increase in road improvements.

Whitmer wanted the state to increase its gasoline tax by 45 cents per gallon in 2019. Legislators refused to enact her proposal, preferring to redirect funds to roads from current revenues. The governor vetoed the plan, preferring to borrow $3.5 billion through selling state bonds, which obligate taxpayers for 25 years.

In 2023 Democrats, who controlled the Legislature and the governor's office for the first time this century, created a 2024 budget with record spending on corporate welfare and pork projects.

The $4.5 billion in corporate welfare and $1 billion in pork projects could have been used on roads.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.