LANSING, Mich. (AP) —
Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State address will kick off a debate over how to raise money for badly needed repairs to Michigan's roads and bridges.
Few would disagree that the state's transportation infrastructure needs fixing.
You can watch the State of the State speech at 7 p.m. Wednesday live on WXSP and on woodtv.com - -
Government and private reports estimate that around $1.5 billion is needed each year to fill potholes and complete other maintenance work. And that doesn't include funds for improvements.
Snyder called last year for replacing the 19-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline with a tax on the wholesale price of fuel. The Legislature took on action. He says he'll make more specific proposals in his speech Wednesday.
Mike Nystrom of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association says poor roads are hurting the state's economy. He says strong leadership is needed to win support for new funding.
A union official says workers upset about Michigan's now right-to-work law are planning to protest before Gov. Rick Snyder's third State of the State address.
Edward McNeil is a spokesman for American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Council 25. He says workers will be outside the Capitol on Wednesday to demonstrate against the law he says will drive down wages and elevate Michigan's poverty rate.
The United Auto Workers and other labor groups also are protesting.
The right-to-work law that prohibits requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.