Transportation Budget Includes Additional One-Time Funding for Local Roads

Although the legislature was unable to come up with a comprehensive solution to fix Michigan’s transportation system, next years transportation budget includes an additional $144.5 million in one-time funding for roads. As a result cities and villages across this state will receive $31.5 million. Based on the boilerplate language in the bill, the money will be spread out over equal payments throughout the year and not come as a lump sum payment at the beginning of the fiscal year. An estimated breakdown of what each community will receive can be found below.

Estimated Calculation of $144.5 million FY15

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

2016 Local Safety Program

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is pleased to announce the solicitation of new applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Local Safety Program. Federal funds for the Local Safety Program are to be used for highway safety improvements on the local roadway system. All locally controlled roadways, regardless of National Functional Classification, are eligible for the Local Safety Program. The FY 2016 federal budget for this program is estimated at $15,000,000. This amount may be subject to revisions based on approval of the future federal highway bill. Local agencies may submit more than one project application for consideration. Federal safety funds shall not exceed $600,000 per project or a maximum amount of $2,000,000 per Local Agency for the fiscal year. FY 2016 projects are to be developed and obligated between October 1, 2015, and August 26, 2016. For more detail please click here. 2016 Federal Local Safety Program

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

GRS-IBS Showcase Event

This event provides an opportunity to discuss the geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system (GRS-IBS) and showcase a GRS-IBS project in Ionia County. GRS-IBS is an engineered fill of closely spaced, alternating layers of compacted granular fill material and geosynthetic reinforcement. It’s a fast, cost effective method of bridge support that blends the roadway into the superstructure.

There is no cost to attend this showcase. Morning refreshments and lunch will be
provided. For more information please click on the following link. 2014GRS_IBS_Showcase

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

Senate Fails to Pass Road Funding

The Senate adjourned until July 16 after several failed attempts to provide additional road funding to fix Michigan’s infrastructure. Failing to act means our roads and bridges will continue to fall into greater disrepair. We will not only fail to maintain existing infrastructure but won’t be able to invest in additional infrastructure to attract and retain talented employees and job providers.

The League will be relentless in the pursuit of additional funding and we want to thank all of our members who have reached out and asked your legislators to support long-term sustainable solution. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed by those in Lansing.

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

Transportation Funding Hitting Road Blocks in the Senate

The package of bills sent over by the House has hit a road block in the Senate. Democrats are arguing for protection of prevailing wage, the current electoral college system, and the need to provide tax relief for the working poor by reinstating the cuts made in 2011 to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Republican are not united in their approach as some members of their caucus want to raise the gas tax, other want to raise the sales tax, and still other want no new taxes. As this debate plays out some progress was made this week but much more needs to be done if comprehensive solution is going to be realized.

Talks are ongoing among legislative leaders. The League remains hopeful that the legislature will respond to the public outcry to fix Michigan transportation networks and act on the bills before them. We encourage you to reach out to the Senator and Representative from your area and encourage them to vote for a sustainable solution that will return Michigan to a state with strong infrastructure, reliable transit options, and thriving 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

Transportation Budget Passes Conference Committee

The transportation budget passed out of conference committee this week and did not include new revenue for transportation funding that reflects a comprehensive solution. SB 777 did include $144.5 million in one-time general fund money that would be distributed to MDOT, Counties, and cities and villages. Of the $144.5 million cities and villages will receive $31.5 million in additional funding for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014. SB 777 also included $1.1 million for the Regional Transit Authority.

A significant amount of work continues to take place around finding a larger solution and the League remains hopeful the legislature will act before they leave for summer break.

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

House Local Government Committee Votes Out Legislation Allowing Golf Carts on Local Roads

This week House Local Government Committee voted out HB 5045 that would allow a local unit of government to pass an ordinance that would allow golf carts on roads under their jurisdiction. The following requirements must be met.

  • Must have a population less that 30,000
  • The operator must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid drivers license
  • The golf cart must be operated on the far right side of the roadway
  • You can only operate the golf cart between a half hour after sunrise and a half hour before sunset
  • Drivers must use hand signals to indicate turning and stopping
  • The golf cart cannot exceed 15 mph and can not operate on a road with a speed limit of more than 30 mph

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

Senate Passes Repeal of Annual Certification to MDOT

In December of 2012 Public Act 506 was enacted that required local road agencies to certify the the Michigan Department of Transportation that the had developed and publicized an employee compensation plan or were in compliance with with PA 152 of 2011. The law requires a local road agency to maintain a searchable website accessible by the public at no cost that includes the following: a) current fiscal year budget, b) the number of active transportation employees of the local road agency by job classification and wage rate, c) information on financial performance, d) the names and contact information for the governing body of the local road agency, and e) a copy of the certification mentioned above. Compliance with these provisions needs to take place no later than September 30, 2014.

The League has advocated that certifying to MDOT that we are in compliance with PA 152, which by law we are required to be in compliance with, is redundant, unnecessary, and an inefficient use of time. We have also advocated that the creation of another dashboard is unnecessary because of the public access to our current EVIP dashboards, F65 Forms, audits, and our comprehensive annual financial reports.

As a result Senator Casperson introduced SB 882 that would repeal the provisions section 18j for cities and villages. This bill was take up before the full Senate today and vote out with nearly unanimous support. This bill now moves to the House where we are hopeful that progress will continue to be made and these unnecessary requirements will be repealed before the implementation date of September 30, 2014.

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

Senate Hopes to Vote on Significant Transportation Funding Increase Next Week

The Senate has adopted a substitute to HB 5477 that would gradually increase the new percentage tax on gasoline over four years from 9.5 percent beginning January 1, 2015, to 11.5% beginning January 1, 2016, and to 13.5 percent beginning January 1, 2017. For the year beginning January 1, 2018, the rate would be increased to 15.5 percent.

The changes to the bill, which repeals current fuel taxes, 19 cents per gallon and 15 cents per gallon on diesel, and replaces them with a percentage tax on the wholesale price, was the most significant change the chamber made to several House and Senate bills whose goal is to increase revenue to improve our transportation system. The House had originally proposed in HB 5477 a rate of 6 percent, a level said to be revenue-neutral.

The Senate is looking to hopefully pass these bills Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Earlier in the day, the Senate Infrastructure Modernization Committee had reported the bills with only one change to HB 4630, which would remove a provision of current law that offers a 10 percent reduction in registration fees for purchasers of new vehicles over three years. It is estimated that change could yield about $140 million.

Overall the package of bills represent nearly $2 billion in new revenue for our transportation system.

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

Senate Transportation Committee Votes Out Repeal of Annual Certification to MDOT

In December of 2012 Public Act 506 was enacted that required local road agencies to certify the the Michigan Department of Transportation that the had developed and publicized an employee compensation plan or were in compliance with with PA 152 of 2011. The law requires a local road agency to maintain a searchable website accessible by the public at no cost that includes the following: a) current fiscal year budget, b) the number of active transportation employees of the local road agency by job classification and wage rate, c) information on financial performance, d) the names and contact information for the governing body of the local road agency, and e) a copy of the certification mentioned above. Compliance with these provisions needs to take place no later than September 30, 2014.

The League has advocated that certifying to MDOT that we are in compliance with PA 152, which by law we are required to be in compliance with, is redundant, unnecessary, and an inefficient use of time. We have also advocated that the creation of another dashboard is unnecessary because of the public access to our current EVIP dashboards, F65 Forms, audits, and our comprehensive annual financial reports.

As a result Senator Casperson has introduced SB 882 that would repeal the provisions section 18j for cities and villages. The committee unanimously voted this bill out of committee today. We are committed to working with the legislature to see this bill move forward and are hopeful that it will be voted out of the Senate as soon as next week.

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