By Stateside Staff of Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a $1.2 billion road funding package in 2015 that called for increased vehicle registration fees and gas taxes, many of which went into effect this year.

In an interview with Stateside this week, Michigan Department of Transportation director Kirk Steudle said the state was “still trying to manage the deterioration,” but the overall quality of roads was yet to rise, despite the fresh tax revenue. But he noted the general fund component of the 2015 funding package has yet to kick in.

Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader, and Vicki Barnett, a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, joined Stateside on Friday to discuss the state’s progress on roads.

“From a political and policy perspective, I can’t imagine a worse possible outcome than what we have here,” Sikkema said. “According to Steudle … the problem is actually getting worse.”

Barnett agrees. She says that despite Steudle saying local and county roads were getting priority, road quality at that level was still poor overall.

“The notion that raising taxes was a first good step [is false] because it didn’t direct all of that money where it’s supposed to go,” Barnett said.

Ken Sikkema and Vicki Barnett join Stateside every Friday to break down the week’s political news.

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