Update: MDOT Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions

The Michigan Municipal League would like to offer a quick update on SB 882. Last week a blog was posted that explained the compromised the League had reached with the House and the anticipated vote today on the bill. As a result of a few key House Republicans being unable to attend session today, the House has decided not to take up any bills for a vote. This move was completely unexpected and out of our control. After following up with staff, they have indicated that a vote will take place on the bill tomorrow. As a result of this delay it appears that the Governor will not be presented with the opportunity to sign this legislation before Thursday.

The more difficult issue with this is that there will be a two day period where if you have not certified to the department that you are in compliance with current statute you may be at risk of losing Act 51 funding. In my discussions with the department I don’t believe that they will begin immediately enforcing this statute with a heavy hammer and are willing to work with us to bring all of our members into compliance. That being said the current statute does require that you comply no later than today, September 30.

Although today’s delay was not anticipated we remain confident this issue will be resolved before the end of the 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

Repeal of MDOT Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions Awaits Final Passage in the House

Senate Bill 882 that repeals the MDOT Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions under Act 51 Section 18j is currently awaiting final passage in the House. This bill was voted out of the Senate just before the Legislature left for their summer break by a vote of 35-1. Upon their return in September we knew we would be working on a short timeline to get this bill out of the House. The first committee hearing on the bill was last week and our testimony was well received by the committee. Following committee there were a few questions that were brought up by policy staff in the House that we addressed and after some debate the bill was brought up for a vote in committee. It passed by a margin of 13-2.

There continued to be some questions raised by a few legislators about the need to repeal requirements placed on local government. As a result further movement on the bill was suspended and discussions and negotiations resumed. Yesterday the League supported compromise with the House that would remove the requirements for additional dashboards and financial reporting but would still require us to certify to MDOT on an annual basis that we are in compliance with PA 152. The legislation would also push the implementation date back a year to September 30, 2015. Please click on the following link for the most recent version of the bill. 2014-SCVBH-0882-14645

After reaching the compromise, the House moved the bill from 2nd reading to 3rd reading but did not vote on it. They will not return to session again until next Tuesday September 30th, the current implementation date in statute. In our discussions with the House they have indicated that when they return next Tuesday they will vote on the bill with the changes mention above and send it back to the Senate for concurrence. The plan is for the Senate to concur in the changes to the bill later that day, send it to the governor for signature, and just narrowly beat the deadline.

The bill does not represent the full repeal that we pushed for but we believe it is a very good compromise at the end of the day.

As you know nothing is guaranteed until the Governor’s signature is dry, but at this point, based on the conversations we have had with legislators and staff, we are confident that SB 882 will be passed on Tuesday.

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

Smart Growth America Offering a Limited Number of Technical Assistant Workshops

Is your community interested in creating vibrant, walkable neighborhoods, but not sure where to start?

Smart Growth America’s technical assistance workshops can help. Our experts can work with your community to understand your goals, show how development strategies can help achieve goals, and provide ideas to make it happen.

Each year Smart Growth America offers a limited number of these workshops at no charge, and we’re proud to announce that applications are now open for our 2015 free technical assistance workshops.

Now in its fourth year, our free technical assistance program has helped over 50 communities grow in ways that benefit residents and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

Visit our website to learn about this year’s opportunity, including the types of workshops available and information about how to apply. Applications are due by October 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM EDT.

For more information or to apply click 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

Repeal of MDOTs Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions Receives Committee Hearing

Today House Transportation Committee took testimony on SB 882 that would repeal the annual certification of employee related conditions requirement for cities and villages under Act 51. The League expressed its strong support for the legislation and addressed the need to act on this quickly. The Chairman acknowledge the importance of moving quickly on this legislation and plans to have another committee meeting on this bill next week and vote it out. We will continue to work with the Chairman and members of the committee on this issue in an effort to secure its passage before the end of the month.

The League continues to deliver the message 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 dashboards, F65 Forms, audits, and our comprehensive annual financial reports. With the commitment from the Chairman to move this bill out of committee next week we remain hopeful that this legislation will pass before September 30th but there is no guarantee. We encourage you to prepare as if this requirements will be due on September 30, 2014 and we will continue to update you on the progress of this legislation.

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

MDOT Makes Significant Upgrades to Act 51 Reporting Portal and the Investment Reporting Tool

The Michigan Municipal League would like to inform you that the Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC) has made some significant updates to Michigan’s Act 51 Reporting Portal (MITRP) specific to completed project reporting requirements within both the Investment Reporting Tool (IRT) and Act 51 Distribution andReporting System (ADARS). Both systems can be accessed via this link: www.mcgi.state.mi.us/MITRP/.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and each local road agency has a responsibility to annually submit a report to the TAMC that includes, road and bridge projects anticipated to be contracted within the next three years and completed projects (open to traffic) for the fiscal year being reported. In 2006, the TAMC developed the Web-based IRT to facilitate the collection of project location information related to planned and completed projects for local agencies. In 2011, in an effort to gather meaningful cost information from local agencies, the TAMC partnered with MDOT to add an asset management page to the Web-based ADARS system. Unfortunately, this had an unintended consequence that caused many local agencies to have to manually re-enter duplicate project information into both systems.

This situation has been corrected and as of September 3, 2014, both the IRT and ADARS Asset Management page will be fully integrated to allow for the completed project information reported within the IRT to be automatically “synced” to the reporting categories within the ADARS page.

Initially, there will be a “soft” roll-out of this update for agencies with fiscal years ending on/after October 1, 2014 – September 30, 2015. During the roll-out MDOT will focus on training and educating local agencies on the project reporting process and you will still be able to submit Act 51 reports by clicking the “No Treatments to Report” button. However, on/after October 1, 2015, the TAMC will expect the project information requested in both the IRT and ADARS to be complete. Failure to report this information could result in non-compliance with Act 51 reporting requirements and funds withheld until such a time that compliance can be determined.

If you have any questions, please contact Brian Sanada, TAMC Coordinator, at 517-373-2220 or sanadab@michigan.gov.

The following is a link to the letter that was sent out by the Transportation Asset Management Council regarding these changes. TAMC Letter to IRT-ADARS Users 9 3 14

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.

MDOT Annual Certification of Employee-Related Conditions Due September 30th

Beginning September 30, 2014, and annually each September 30 thereafter, certification must be made for compliance to Section 18j of Public Act 51 of 1951, MCL 247.668j. A local road agency must certify that it has developed an employee compensation plan for its transportation employees as described OR the local road agency must certify that medical benefits are offered to its transportation employees or elected public officials in compliance with the publicly funded health insurance contribution act, 2011 PA 152, MCL 15.561 to 15.569, OR, that it does not offer medical benefits to its transportation employees or elected public officials. For a copy of the annual certification form please click here.

In addition, a local road agency shall maintain a searchable website accessible by the public at no cost, or the local road agency may reference this state’s central transparency website as the source for the information required. The information required includes all of the following, current fiscal year budget, the number of active transportation employees of the local road agency by job classification and wage rate, a financial performance dashboard that contains information on revenues, expenditures, and unfunded liabilities, the names and contact information for the governing body of the local road agency, and a copy of the annual certification form. If you elect to reference the state’s central transparency website the email to send a searchable pdf of the information to is MDOT-Outreach@michigan.gov. The website that should be used as a link the central transparency website on your webpage is www.michigan.gov/act51 and it will be part of the Legislative Reports under the Resources heading.

If a local road agency does not have a website, you may send a searchable pdf of your information to jlamacchia@mml.org at the Michigan Municipal League and it will be posted to their web page.

For more information please read Section 18j Frequently Asked Questions provided by MDOT.

The League continues to advocate 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 dashboards, F65 Forms, audits, and our comprehensive annual financial reports. SB 882 that would repeal these requirements has passed the Senate and awaits a hearing in the House. We are still hopeful that this legislation will pass before September 30th but there is no guarantee. We encourage you to prepare as if this requirements will continue to be due on 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

The House Passes Legislation Allowing Golf Carts on Local Roads

This week House passed HB 5045 by vote of 103-5. This bill 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

2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems Coming to Detroit

ITS America, in partnership with ERTICO and ITS Asia-Pacific, is excited to welcome you to Detroit this September 7-11 for the 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems. America’s Motor City is the perfect backdrop for the fantastic exhibitions hosted on our more than 300,000 sq. ft of show floor at the Cobo Center, the interactive demonstrations of the groundbreaking innovations in our Technology Showcase, the more than 250 riveting programmatic panels, roundtables, and interactive town hall sessions, as well as numerous networking events with an expected 10,000 transportation and technology leaders from around the world.

For more information on how to register please click 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.

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