|From the neighborhoods in Delray, one can see the Ambassador Bridge and the RenCen. A number of homes and businesses would be displaced by the bridge project, Sen. Virgil Smith said. (Elizabeth Conley/The Detroit News)|
The second vote in committee was on the original version of the bill, which did not include the community benefits. On that vote three Republicans voted in favor, two opposed, and the two Democrats "passed." This was their way of saying they wanted to benefits but were unwilling to vote against the bridge. Because the bill only received three YES votes, it failed.
Much pressure was brought upon lawmakers before the vote by several groups including you, the grass roots readers of Core Principles. Over 500 of you called and emailed to let your voices be heard. You proved that grass roots activism still works.
What's next? The Senate could reintroduce another version of the bill with elements in it that will lure more Republicans and Democrats to support it. There is even talk of an "end-around" by the governor who could find a way to accomplish this project using an executive order. This would not require any legislative action.
You need to continue to lobby your legislators and the governor not to move forward with this costly project. Here are some facts:
- It will require $2.2 billion in new state and federal spending
- Over $550 million in new debt to Canada
- $100 million in new "community benefits" may be included
- An Authority would be created, with the ability to bond, issue debt, and tax
- Hundreds of parcels would be seized under eminent domain
- New roads and exit ramps would need to be built
- A bailout of the project down the road, if traffic and toll projections don't pan out
Read a background story from the Detroit News here.