Governor Whitmer’s plan to fix Michigan roads


Frances Walewski

Govenor Whitmer at Canton High School explaining her budget plan.

Allison Hawkins and Frances Walewski

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was sworn into office earlier this year and has promoted her campaign to fix Michigan roads. Gov. Whitmer visited Canton High School on May 16, 2019, to inform the public about her 2019 budget plan. Her goal is to obtain public acceptance for the proposed gas tax.

In the past, Michigan took from its public education funds Michigan’s roads are becoming more and more dangerous and Gretchen Whitmer wants to increase the gas tax in order for that money to go straight to fixing the roads, instead of it coming out of education funds. In the governor’s budget tour, she explained that previous Michigan governors played “The Shell Game.” In 2015, they took money out of the education funds and higher skills training in order to “fix” the roads. Potholes were filled, but the roads weren’t fixed the right way. Money was taken out of education and higher skills training, which limited the new generation’s education, just to fill in potholes.

If she gets approval for the plan there will be a 45 cent increase per gallon of gas at gas pumps across Michigan.  This tax will raise the 2.5 billion dollars necessary to fix the roads permanently. Instead of just temporary cheaper fixes, like filling in potholes.

“I don’t want to raise the gas tax,” Gov. Whitmer expressed, “No one wants to raise the gas tax, but because we’ve gotten to such a dire situation we don’t have another choice. If we don’t do this now we’ll pay a much bigger price than gas at the pump.”

Governor Whitmer understands that raising the gas tax will be a burden for some families, but it will pay off in the long run when they don’t have to pay for new car parts and tires because of poorly “fixed” roads. The Governor also plans to implement relief methods for those who will struggle the most with the gas tax.

Raising the gas tax will ensure that the money goes directly towards the roads, as it states in the constitution so that the state can focus on bettering public education and skills training.

Governor Whitmer recognized the public’s hesitation into accepting the gas tax because of a previous attempt to fix the roads in 2015. She feels that it was unfair of Lansing to lie to the public saying that the problem of the roads was fixed, while in reality it only slowed the rate of decline. She vows that her tax will go towards the roads and fixing them correctly. She vows to use the “right materials” to make sure 90% of Michigan roads are in good to fair condition for many years to come.