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UP Lawmakers Hold Office Hour In Hancock

Reducing auto insurance rates is still the top priority for the Copper Country’s representatives in Lansing.

State Senator Ed McBroom and State Representative Greg Markkanen met with constituents Friday at KC Bonkers Toys & Coffee in Hancock.

It was standing room only in the coffee shop, and Markkanen said they tried to answer a number of questions on people’s minds.

“People are concerned about property taxes, environmental issues, what we’re doing down in Lansing,” Markkanen said. “Auto insurance came up.  It’s one of our number one issues, trying to get auto insurance reform across the state, and of course, the 45 cent gas tax.”

McBroom stressed that Michigan drivers are paying the highest auto insurance rates in the country. “It’s really difficult for the state to continue on this path,” the Republican from Vulcan said.  “It’s difficult for us as citizens and, if you think about it, it’s not just what you’re paying on the car insurance, but every business that has a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles is paying for that on those vehicles, too, then passing those costs on.”

With Michigan drivers already paying more than anyone else for insurance, McBroom doesn’t see that there will be much support for Governor Whitmer’s proposed 45 cent gas tax hike to pay for road repairs.

“I don’t believe that the 45 cent plan is going to ever get enough support to move forward,” said McBroom.  “Not a single member of the senate thus far, Democrat or Republican, has been willing to put their name on the bill.  It hasn’t been introduced yet so I’m not sensing a tremendous amount of support at this point for just that concept on its own.”

McBroom argued that the previous road bill passed by the legislature will provide enough money to fix state roads after all the money has been allocated, but local road commissions are the ones needing additional funding for county streets.

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