State senate schedules bridge vote, Canada offers support
The Detroit News reports:
The Senate Economic Development Committee, which is considering legislation to create a public authority to take bids on the new bridge, will hold hearings Tuesday and Wednesday and vote on the two bridge bills at the end of Wednesday’s session, said Mike Murray, chief of staff to committee chairman Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake.
Gov. Rick Snyder is pushing the project, dubbed the New International Trade Crossing, and wants the Legislature to deal with it by the end of October.
It’s not clear whether there is support in the Legislature to pass the bills. Republicans have generally opposed the public bridge, while Democrats have supported it.
Canada has offered to finance the $550 million needed to pay for the Michigan portion of the bridge, and the project is supported by a broad range of business and labor groups because it is expected to provide jobs and improve trade over the border.
Gov. Snyder has also worked out an arrangement with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation that would allow Michigan to use the $550 million from Canada as matching funds to secure $2 billion in federal road dollars.
Billionaire Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun has blanketed the state with ads in opposition to plans for the new publicly-owned bridge.