By Mike Kruzman /

New legislation from a local lawmaker would stabilize funding for secondary road patrols.

State Representative Mike Mueller is a retired deputy and the Chair of the House Government Operations Committee. On Thursday, a multi-bill package that would dedicate $15-million of liquor taxes collected by the state towards funding rural road patrols, passed committee. The Linden Republican said it made sense to use liquor tax monies for this since it is normally secondary road patrol deputies that are investigating rural-area and alcohol-related accidents.

Mueller said this funding could allow for more patrols to be available and faster response times. As an example, he said a driver could hit a deer in a rural township, such as near the Jackson County line in Washtenaw County where there isn’t countywide road patrol and have to wait a couple hours on State Police coming from the Brighton Post.

Mueller continued, saying, that this will be a sustainable revenue source for secondary road patrols, which he said, have been largely ignored for around two decades due to the current formula and funding process. According to Mueller’s website, the number of deputies in the program peaked in 2001 and has decreased since then. These bills will also reduce the penalty towards someone who gets a ticket by $10. Additionally, consumers will see no increase in the tax affecting their purchases.