Is there a Plan B if Proposal 1 Fails? Why are Michigan’s Roads so Bad? Find Out in New League videos

Fowler plan bIt’s just two weeks until voters decide the fate of Proposal 1 on May 5 and the Michigan Municipal League has just posted a series of question and answer videos to address some of the concerns you may have about the road funding plan.

The videos come from a panel discussion during the League’s 2015 Capital Conference that took place in March.

The general session, “Driving Toward Safer Roads with Proposal 1,” was moderated by Roger Martin, of the Martin Waymire public relations firm and spokesman for the Safe Roads Yes! coalition. Panelists were Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of the Michigan Department of Education; Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan; Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell; and Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

View all the League’s Proposal 1 information here, including an updated list of all the Michigan communities that have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Steudle bad roadsHere are the questions posed and subsequent answers. The videos are all very short:

The League also has a new slide show illustrating how much in new money for roads and constitutional revenue sharing each Michigan community will receive if Proposal 1 passes. The numbers are substantial. It’s a long video but it’s in alphabetical order so you can advance to the parts you want to see. You can also view a pdf of that video here, which will allow you to advance through the list more easily.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

House Bill Package Eliminates February Election Date

This week the Michigan House of Representatives passed a six bill package, with overwhelming support, that eliminates the February election date from the schedule of consolidated elections that can be held in Michigan.  With more than 90 votes in favor of each of the bills, and the backing of the Secretary of State and the county and municipal clerks associations, these bills now head to the Senate for consideration.  Should this package make its way to the Governor and receive his signature, there would only be May, August and November elections in Michigan.  For cities with a May general election, these bills also eliminate the associated primary election.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304and chackbarth@mml.org

Proposal 1 Election in Three Weeks; New Videos, Information Now Available

With three weeks to go until the May 5 election on Proposal 1, the Michigan Municipal League has recently posted a number of new videos and community-specific information showing why people should VOTE YES on the road funding initiative.

Proposal 1 will benefit communities in multiple ways and in particular it will bring in additional, much-needed dollars in the areas of road funding and constitutional revenue sharing. The League has put together a slide show illustrating how much additional dollars will be generated in each Michigan community if Proposal 1 is approved by voters May 5. View the slide show here.

The League also has produced a series of short videos of municipal officials from all parts of the state explaining why they support Proposal 1. The League has put together a compilation of the videos that you can view here.

View videos of League members supporting Proposal 1 here: https://vimeo.com/124630900

View videos of League members supporting Proposal 1 here: https://vimeo.com/124630900

View each individual testimonial:

League President Dick Bolen, Mayor Pro Tem of Wakefield

League Vice President Nathan Triplett, Mayor of East Lansing

League Board Member Catherine Bostick-Tullius, Lapeer city commissioner

Elk Rapids Village President Dan Reszka

Huntington Woods Mayor Ron Gillham and Commissioner Jeff Jenks

Kalamazoo City Commissioner Eric Cunningham

Fenton Mayor Sue Osborn

Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger

Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly

jack video-smallWe believe these videos and information not only show the broad-based support Proposal 1 has, but also help explain why the passage of this proposal is so vital to the future of our communities. The League board in January unanimously supported Proposal 1 and joined the Safe Roads Yes! coalition. For community-specific information related to Proposal 1 go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes information web page here.

This page has talking points, neutral information and other details about Proposal 1. The page also includes a list of the more than 20 Michigan communities that have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and 734-669-6317.

MDOT Accepting Transportation Economic Development Fund Category F Applications

The Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Economic Development is currently accepting Transportation Economic Development Fund Category F applications for Fiscal Year 2017. Eligible applicants include cities, villages and county road commissions. Proposed projects must be on federal-aid designated routes within federal aid urban areas located in a county with a population of 400,000 or fewer. Higher consideration is given to applications that propose improving all-season capabilities on routes having high commercial traffic or those that improve access to state trunklines.

The application deadline for Category F grants is Monday June 1, 2015. The application and instructions can be accessed at http://www.michigan.gov/tedf For questions, please contact Matt Wiitala, at 517-241-2152 or wiitalam@michigan.gov.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

LaMacchia: ‘Roads Will Only Get Worse'; Vote Yes on Proposal 1 for New Road Funding in Michigan

About 60 people attend a symposium on Proposal 1 Tuesday in Sterling Heights.

About 60 people attend a symposium on Proposal 1 Tuesday in Sterling Heights.

Last night the Michigan Municipal League hosted a “Safe Roads Symposium” on Proposal 1 in Sterling Heights. The event was attended by about 60 people, including multiple officials from the city of Sterling Heights and surrounding communities.

The League’s John LaMacchia, Legislative Associate, was one of several officials who spoke on the issue as part of a panel during the symposium.

Other event panelists were Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy; Dr. Robert Livernois, Superintendent of Warren Consolidated Schools; Dr. Christine Johns, Superintendent of Utica Community Schools; and Carmine Palombo, Deputy Executive Director of SEMCOG.

During the informative event, LaMacchia gave a brief history of how Proposal 1 came about and why the Michigan Municipal League supports the initiative heading to voters on May 5.

LaMacchia encouraged those attending to vote yes on Proposal 1.

Panelists get ready for the symposium.

Panelists get ready for the symposium.

“Michigan now spends less per resident on roads than any other state. Let me say that again: Michigan is now dead last in per-capita funding for roads. We’ve neglected properly invest in our roads and bridges and everywhere you travel in this state you can see the repercussions of that. This proposal will constitutionally guarantees that every penny we pay in state fuel taxes goes to transportation while protecting funding for local governments and schools. This proposal is not perfect … nothing from Lansing ever is. But it does provide a long-term sustainable solution that will fix our roads, and the only guarantee we will have on May 5th if this fails is that our roads will get worse. Vote Yes!”

For additional information on Proposal 1 go here: http://www.mml.org/advocacy/safe-roads-yes-neutral-info.html.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 734-669-6317 and mbach@mml.org.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

 

 

Sample FOIA Compliance Documents Now Available

A sample FOIA Summary, Procedures and Guidelines, and Fee Itemization Form are now available on the League’s website: One Pager Plus Fact Sheet. These sample documents are intended to assist our local municipalities in complying with the new changes made to FOIA that go into effect July 1, 2015.  We also have a webinar available for purchase, and we held a breakout session at Capital Conference, Read more.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

House Passes Mobile Home Legislation

The full House of Representatives passed out HB 4054 this week, a bill that makes changes to the Mobile Home Commission Act.  HB 4054 is a reintroduction from last year by Rep. Andy Schor in an effort to address a situation that occurred in his district with the Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park. This legislation requires the DEQ to outline clear roles for local units of government and enforcement (a problem that occurred with the Life O’Riley mobile home park that ended being condemned and residents forced to seek housing elsewhere). In addition, there are more reporting requirements of the DEQ to local units of government of rules promulgated or when a mobile home is found to be in violation.

The League is supportive of this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Senate Passes Pneumatic Guns Legislation

This week the full Senate passed  SB 85 (sponsored by Sen. Hildenbrand, R-Lowell), a bill to include pneumatic guns (i.e. paint ball guns) in the list of pistols or other firearms that local units of government currently cannot tax, regulate ownership of, registration of, sale/transfer/possession and transportation of (PA 319 of 1990).

The legislation does allow a local unit to regulate the possession of a pneumatic gun in someone under the age of 16 unless it is on their private property as well as allow a local unit to prohibit discharging of a pneumatic gun in heavily populated areas.

The League is opposed to this legislation.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate with the League handling economic development, land use, and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Revenue Sharing Budget Activity

The House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees began working in earnest this week to send their recommendations to the full Appropriations committees.  As they work to get initial budget activity completed in each chamber prior to the Spring Recess, the House and Senate General Government subcommittees each reported their budget versions, including revenue sharing, this week.  Both subcommittee chairs stayed close to the Governor’s original recommendation…Constitutional revenue sharing payments are set to experience a $23.8 million increase, based upon estimated sales tax growth, while Statutory payments are recommended to remain flat with the current year at $243 million.

In a twist on the Governor’s proposal though, the House chose to retain one-time funding from the current budget to continue statutory payments to 100 additional townships that had not received funding in the prior budget.  To come up with the $5+ million necessary to keep these townships, the House inexplicably reduced the City of Detroit’s statutory payment.  The Senate also maintained these additional 100 townships, but only to the extent that they held them harmless from experiencing an overall reduction when factoring in their increased Constitutional payment.  This proposal required an additional $424,000 be added to the statutory revenue sharing line in the Senate’s version of the budget.  The Senate version also includes $10 million towards a statewide purchase of new election/voting equipment to be purchased for local communities in conjunction with the Secretary of State.  They came up with the revenue for these increases by shifting dollar from different fund sources at MI Economic Development Corporation and reducing IT spending increases that the Governor had recommended for the state Dept of Technology, Management and Budget.

Senate Bill 122 and House Bill 4090 will likely be considered before their respective Appropriations committees next week, with floor action to follow.  We expect the two chambers to try and position all of the budgets for final negotiation following the May 15th revenue estimating conference.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304and chackbarth@mml.org

Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People, Safer Streets

Secretary Foxx

Secretary Foxx

Anthony Foxx, U.S.Transportation Secretary, is challenging mayors and local elected officials to take significant action to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities over the next year. Mayors’ Challenge participants will be invited to attend the Mayors’ Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets in March, and their cities will spend a year helping their communities undertake seven activities to improve safety. The challenge is based on the 2010 USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation.

For more information and to sign up for the challenge please click here. Michigan communities already signed up include Ann Arbor, Flint, Jackson, Traverse City and Westland.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, and energy issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.