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BLM Poll & Policy Principles Outline Path Forward on MI Road Funding

BLM Poll & Policy Principles Outline Path Forward on MI Road Funding
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
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Statewide Survey Shows Voters Ready to Fund Road Fixes

DETROIT, Mich., May 26, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) today issued a set of principles and the results of a recent statewide public opinion poll that outline how Michigan’s roads and bridges should be fixed in light of the defeat of Proposal 1.

The public opinion polling results show Michigan voters want the roads fixed—and they are willing to pay for the work— but policymakers need to shape a less complex proposal. More than half of survey respondents who voted no on Proposal 1 said they believed the initiative gave tax money away to too many other things.  The survey also revealed that nearly 80 percent of voters believe the state’s roads are worse than other states.

“Michigan voters know the roads are bad, and they are willing to fund the right solution for fixing them,” said BLM President & CEO Doug Rothwell.  “The message this survey sends to our state leaders is twofold—deal with this issue quickly, and don’t tie too many extra bells and whistles onto a funding package that should simply be about getting our roads and bridges in better shape.”

The BLM poll showed:

  • More than 87 percent of state voters want the road problem dealt with in the next year.
  • More than 58 percent of state residents support a one-percent sales tax increase, with all additional money dedicated to the state’s roads. (This would require a ballot proposal)
  • Alternatively, 53 percent of state voters would support converting the flat gas tax to a wholesale gas tax.  (This would not require a ballot proposal)
  • Voters are open to cuts as a way to find additional money for roads with the largest percentage of voters favoring cuts to the Corrections budget

BLM also issued principles that the organization believes are essential as the Governor and legislature work to enact a long-term solution to fixing Michigan’s roads and bridges:  The solution should meet the following criteria:

  • It should provide funding sufficient to ensure good quality road and bridge conditions
  • It should require road and bridge builder warranties
  • The funding source should be both sustainable and dedicated
  • The revenue should come from the users of our roads and bridges
  • The solution should not adversely impact other critical priorities that help create jobs, such as job training, higher education and economic development

“We believe that our principles for a long-term solution align with the polling results and provide guidance as to what an effective solution would look like to have the public’s support,” Rothwell said. “BLM believes such a proposal will require significant new revenue but it could include some budget cuts as long as they don’t negatively impact other critical priorities.”

The 600-sample telephone survey was conducted in mid-May by the Glengariff Group, Inc  with a margin of error of  +/-4.0% with a 95% level of confidence.

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