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WSW: Rep. Dave Maturen Says "Plan B" on Roads Has to Wait

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Carlos Osorio/AP
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The Associated Press

State Representative Dave Maturen says it would not be helpful for lawmakers to start working on an alternative road funding proposal. The Republican whose district includes parts of Kalamazoo and Calhoun Counties says if voters reject the ballot proposal to increase the sales tax on May 5th, roads will remain a major issue in Michigan. 

Maturen says you can expect to see about "148 Plan B's" on May 6th if voters reject the proposed sales tax increase. That's one for every state Representative and state Senator. The freshman Republican would not say if he supports the ballot proposal "I've got one vote out of hopefully a million or so." He says that he is trying to inform voters about what the ballot proposal means.

Maturen was interviewed by WMUK's Gordon Evans for WestSouthwest. A summary of other issues:

Tax Credits

The state has over $9-billion tax credits that companies could cash in over the next 16 years. Some lawmakers have called for the state to renegotiate with companies. Maturen says the state needs certainty about how much will have to be paid out each year. He says it's not possible to get out of paying for the credits because they are a contract. But Maturen says the state should work with the businesses to limit the amount granted in any given year. The Vicksburg Republican also favors repealing the incentives for film and television production. Maturen favors ending the incentives. He says the state should pay out any credits that have already been promised.

Guns

Governor Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to abolish county gun boards. Maturen says that makes Michigan a "shall issue" state, where people who qualify automatically receiving a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He says the law was proposed because there were several counties where it was very difficult to get a gun permit. 

Energy

House Energy Policy Committee Chairman Aric Nesbitt recently released his proposed legislation for Michigan's energy policy. Maturen, who serves on the Energy Committee, says he is still in the "discovery" stages about what is best for the state going forward. Nesbitt's proposal has drawn criticism from some environmental groups because it does not increase the renewable energy standard. Some conservative groups have questioned the lack of competition in the plan. Maturen says if there are going to be power plants built in Michigan, companies will want to know that they will be able to compete in the market.

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Interview with state Rep. Dave Maturen - web version

Fort Custer

Maturen has introduced a resolution urging the Defense Department to pick Fort Custer for a missile defense mission. He says it would bring jobs to the area. Several other sites are also being considered. Maturen says he wants to send the message that the state is willing to offer support. He says that could include infrastructure improvements if they are needed. 

I-94

The Michigan Department of Transportation has started a review of I-94 from Jackson to the Indiana state line. A stretch of the highway that runs through Maturen's district in eastern Kalamazoo County was the scene of a major accident in January. Maturen says while he would like to see I-94 widened in that area, it hinges on many factors, including federal money. Maturen says "I'd caution people not to hold their breath waiting for that to be three lanes in each direction." 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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