The Transportation Asset Management Council Requests Nominations for its Organizational and Individual Achievement Awards

A primary objective of Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC)
is to assist Act 51 agencies implement an asset management program for roads and
bridges under their jurisdiction. To this end, the TAMC has facilitated statewide
collection of system condition data, supported the development of tools and procedures,
and sponsored training and educational sessions in the practice of asset management.

To further aid Act 51 agencies, the TAMC has established the Organizational
Achievement Award to acknowledge those agencies that have incorporated the principles
of asset management and adopted an asset management plan to help guide their
investment decisions. In addition, the TAMC Awards Program provides agencies around
the state with excellent case examples to establish their own programs. All Act 51 road
agencies are eligible to be nominated for this award.

Additionally, the TAMC wants to recognize individuals providing outstanding support of
Asset Management and the TAMC. Nominees for the Individual Achievement Award can
include elected officials (state or local), support staff from state agencies, regional /
metropolitan planning organizations, county road commissions, local units of
government, the education community or other individuals involved in promoting
Michigan’s TAMC programs.

Further in information about the TAMC awards program can be found at the following link. TAMCAward_Criteria_2014

Nominations and/or any questions can be sent to Frank Kelley. He can be reached at KelleyF@michigan.gov or 517-373-211.

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.

MDOT Local Bridge Program soliciting applications for Fiscal Year 2018

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is soliciting applications for candidate projects for the Local Bridge Program. Selected projects will be funded during the 2018 fiscal year. The deadline for application is May 5th.

The FY 2018 Local Bridge Program Call for Applications letter, new Asset Management Bridge Inventory Data and Maintenance Plan Spreadsheet and a new Capitol Scheduled Maintenance Cost Estimate Worksheet are posted below.

FY 2018 Local Bridge Program Call for Applications

Bridge Repair Cost Estimate Worksheet 2015

Capital Scheduled Maintenance Estimate Worksheet 2015

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.

Oakland County Bar Association to Host Fracking Panel and Discussion

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has issued new instructions pertaining to oil/gas drilling in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties.

The Energy, Sustainability and Environmental Law and Municipal Law Committees of the Oakland County Bar Association are hosting a panel discussion for attorneys and municipal employees focusing on hydraulic fracking in Michigan on February 26, 2015 at the Management Education Center in Troy starting at 1:00 pm. Please see the following flyer for details. Hydraulic Fracking

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.

MDOT to Send Out MI Travel Counts Survey

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), in cooperation with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), will administer a travel survey program call MI Travel Counts. Throughout the course of the yearlong study, thousands of randomly selected households will receive letters inviting them to participate in the survey. It is important that, if contacted, municipal officials can verify the legitimacy of the survey and encourage the participation of selected households.

MDOT has provided the following letter containing information on the survey. MI Travel Counts. Additional information about the study can be found here.

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

Comprehensive Transportation Solution Relies on Passage of Ballot Proposal

After a marathon final day of lame duck the House and the Senate were able to successfully put together the framework for a comprehensive long-term solution for investing in Michigan’s infrastructure. Although we would have liked the legislature to solve this problem independently, they approved a ballot proposal that will be put before the voters in May of 2015. This ballot proposal along with other statutory changes represents real investment in core areas that are critical to Michigan’s long term success. Below are the highlights of the transportation funding package.

Ballot Proposal:
– Raises sales and use tax from 6% to 7%
– Eliminates the sales tax on motor fuel
– Removes Higher Education from the School Aid Fund
– Amends the use tax distribution

Statutory Changes (Effective only if the ballot proposal passes):
– Switch to a percentage based wholesale tax on motor fuel and increase
– Increase the percentage based wholesale tax
– Changes to registration fees for vehicles and heavy trucks
– Transportation related reforms for warranties and competitive bidding on road projects
– Restore the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
– Sales tax on internet sales (Main Street Fairness)

Net Impact of Changes in FY 2017-18
– $1.2 Billion in new revenue for roads
– $107 Million in new revenue for the Comprehensive Transportation fund for transit and rail
– $118 Million in new revenue for constitutional revenue sharing
– $394 Million in new revenue for the School Aid Fund
– $260 million in tax relief

A more detailed analysis will follow as additional information becomes available.

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

Problematic Rental Inspection Legislation Dies in the House

On the final day of session Senate Bill 313, sponsored by Senator Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc), was unable to secure final passage on the House floor.

This bill would would have lowered revenues rental inspection programs are able to collect and provide additional barriers to entry when attempting to inspect a tenants property.The League fully anticipate this legislation coming up again next year.

Thank to all of our members who reached out to their legislator explaining to them the harmful implications of this bill. You were the number one reason this bill was able to be stopped and your continued opposition to any future legislation that would have a similar affect will be needed to ensure we are able to provide a healthy and safe environment for the residents of our communities.

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

FOIA Legislation Passes on Final Day

On the final day of session, the legislature  passed HB 4001, a bill that makes numerous changes to the FOIA law, making it more costly to comply and more punitive for local units of government if a mistake is made. The bill passed in bipartisan fashion.

While we recognize this version is vastly improved from the introduced version, we still had concerns at the end of the day and remained opposed.

Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League. She can be reached at nbrown@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

Cancer Presumption Legislation with State Paying Increased Costs Sent to the Governor

Cancer presumption legislation with state paying increased costs has been sent to the Governor. After being vetoed by Governor Engler in 1998 cancer presumption has returned in some form each legislative session.

Senate Bill 211 would create a cancer presumption for firefighters. It is presumed that if a firefighter develops certain types of cancer that it occurred during the course of his or her employment.

The League has always opposed cancer presumption because in its previous versions it would more than double workers compensation premiums for communities with full-time firefighters.  We consider that a conservative estimate. In a time where communities’ budgets are still reeling from revenue sharing cuts and property tax declines, this is a cost our communities are unable to afford.

In the Senate-passed version the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund is created in workers compensation but as a separate fund (similar to what the State has done with the silicosis or dust fund). Unlike the dust fund (where workers compensation providers are charged an assessment) the legislation indicates that the State will pay for claims submitted to the fund.

The bill indicates that the fund will not begin until the legislature appropriates money. If there is not enough money in the fund, claims will not be paid.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 and sharkins at mml.org.

Medical Marijuana Legislation Fails to Secure Passage

House Bill 4271, a bill that would allow local units of government to regulate (or ban) provisioning centers (i.e. dispensaries), and HB 5104, a bill to allow for medical marijuana infused products, failed to secure passage in the Senate on the last day of lame duck.

There is still work to be done on this legislation to ensure local control is protected and the League looks forward to continued discussions on this topic next term..

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

Property Tax Exemption for Housing Organizations Sent to the Governor

House Bill 5182, legislation that would allow the State Tax Commission to grant a local property tax exemption for qualified housing organizations (namely Habitat for Humanity) has been sent to the Governor.

The bill as substituted would say an exemption is in effect for the lesser of 5 years or until the the property is leased to a low-income person or is transferred to another owner. For residential lots the exemption is for 3 years or until the property is leased or transferred.

The League testified in opposition to this legislation. The legislature continues to erode local control by taking local money for state priorities.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at sharkins@mml.org or 517-908-0306.