House Rep looks for pothole compensation

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Michigan potholes are a constant problem in the spring. This year, drivers may not have to fear the damaging nicks in the road.

Michigan Rep. Marilyn Lane recently introduced House Bill 5456. The bill would protect Michigan citizens from having insurance companies raise their rates from damage caused by potholes. Lane now has nearly 50 sponsors on the bill less than a week after the bill was brought to the House.

Lansing resident Eldon Hancock said he believes the bill provides a necessary break.

“Potholes, especially after this winter, are pretty much unavoidable,” said Hancock. “The roads are as bad as I’ve ever seen.”

Although Hancock was not sure his insurance would go up after a pothole claim, he said the city owes citizens new roads. Part of the reason people live in the city is to have basic infrastructure.

“Michigan has something called state shared revenue,” said Hancock. “Citizens pay taxes so basic needs are met. The roads in this areas are part of those needs.”

Ted O’Dell agrees with Hancock. He ran for Lansing City Council in 2013 for an at-large position. Though he lost, he remains concerned about government issues, and he knows about the sad history of Michigan roads.

“Michigan has been known for decades now for having some of the most lax engineering standards in the country,” said O’Dell. “Part of this has to do with state funds not going where they should. There is a mantra by the people that you have to cut, cut, cut. This is not how government can be run.”

A lack of funding is certainty a problem for the people of Lansing. State Senator Patrick Colbeck said that the city and the entire state suffer from low funding for road improvements. Much of the road funding was spent on road and snow plows during the harsh winter.

“We currently spend $3.3 billion per year on roads but have a need of $4.5 billion,” Colbeck said.

Whether the roads will be fixed remains to be seen, but the bill being considered by the House will definitely lessen the strain on the Lansing community.

“The people in this city, after the power outage and the horrible weather, need a break. This may be their chance,” said Hancock.

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