No more Michigan tax money for new bridge
Canada still plans to pay the State's $550-million share of construction costs
The Michigan Legislature has taken steps to ensure Governor Rick Snyder can't spend any more taxpayer money on a bridge between Detroit and Windsor.
A deal is expected to be announced between the State and the Canadian government tomorrow.
The House appropriations committee has amended a funding bill, barring the Michigan Economic Development Corporation from spending taxpayer money on construction of the new international crossing.
Ottawa has offered to cover Michigan's $550-million share of the project.
Snyder is on record saying any loan from Canada would be repaid by bridge tolls, not Michigan taxpayers. Snyder called Canadians "great partners."
"There would be no obligation to Michigan taxpayers. How can you do better than that?" Snyder said.
The Republican-controlled legislature has included language in the 2012 and 2013 budgets, barring other State agencies from spending general fund dollars on a new bridge, because it will compete with the privately-owned ambassador bridge.
The new bridge is expected to alleviate border-crossing delays and would be welcome by industry on both sides of the border.
Industries depend on just-in-time deliveries. So auto companies and unions welcome a new bridge.
Dino Chiodo is president of the CAW local representing Chrysler workers in Windsor:
"There should be no reason why they are not already building it, putting good jobs in place so people can find work and we can start to grow this community," Chiodo said. "In Michigan, the Centre for Automotive Research is releasing a study on the economic impact of a new bridge."
That study is to show that the expected new span would increase the state's gross domestic product and create much-needed jobs.
Detroit and Windsor have been hit hard by the recession. Windsor's unemployment rate is 9.9 per cent, tops in Canada.