Speaker Cotter Unveils House Republican Transportation Solutions

At a press conference this afternoon Speaker Kevin Cotter released the House Republican transportation plan. The highlights are below.

  • This plan will generate $1.05 billion for transportation
  • $700 million from the General Fund
  • $185 million from Reprioritizing Restricted Funds
  • $162 million from Tax Fairness
  • Reforms and Efficiencies

General Fund: The $700 million the Speaker is proposing will come from expected future growth in revenues and additional anticipated revenue available based on the upcoming Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference. This portion of the plan lacked specifics so it is yet to be determined what impact this would have on the state budget moving forward but the Speaker said he would be able to do this without making cuts.

Reprioritizing Restricted Funds: Of the $185 million, $75 million will come from tobacco settlement dollars currently in the 21st Century Jobs Fund, $60 million from the states tribal gaming compact, and $50 million from eliminating the film tax credit.

Tax Fairness: The Speaker will achieve the projected $162 million through the creation of tax fairness by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit and using that $117 million for roads. The remaining $45 million will come from diesel parody and increased fees on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Reforms and Efficiencies: The plan will require competitive bidding on all MDOT and local road projects over $100,000, require MDOT and local road agencies to secure warranties for projects over $1 million, and allow townships contributing greater than 50% to a road project over $50,000 to require competitive bidding.

Other highlights in this plan include a phase in over four year with $522 million going to roads in FY 16, $697 million in FY 17, $872 million in FY 18, $1.05 billion in FY 19 and beyond. All of the new money would only be sent to MDOT, Counties, and Cities and Villages. None of the new money would go to transit operations. The current gas tax will remain at 19 cents but would be tied to inflation under this plan. A copy of the document Speaker Cotter provided can be found at the following link. House Republican Road Funding Plan

As the League gathers more details on this plan in the coming days we will be sure to update you with any new information.

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.

Voting Yes Tuesday on Proposal 1 is Right Thing for Michigan’s Roads, Communities, Schools

Sterling Heights City Manager and MML board member Mark Vanderpool speaks at a Proposal 1 Safe Roads Yes! tour bus stop in Romeo. The League appreciates all the support it has received from members on Proposal 1.

Sterling Heights City Manager and MML board member Mark Vanderpool speaks at a Proposal 1 Safe Roads Yes! tour bus stop in Romeo with Governor Rick Snyder and MDOT Director Kirk Steudle. The League appreciates all the support it has received from members on Proposal 1.

The fate of Proposal 1 goes in the hands of voters tomorrow (Tuesday, May 5, 2015) and the Michigan Municipal League strongly encourages you to vote yes on this road-funding plan.

The League Board of Trustees in January officially endorsed Proposal 1 and the League has been actively supporting it ever since. League staff and members have participated in numerous community meetings, town hall events, public forums, debates and city council sessions to promote Proposal 1. Staff and members also were involved in the Vote Yes on Proposal 1 bus tour Thursday, Friday and today. In addition, we’ve encouraged communities to pass resolutions in support and you can view that list here.

Our message throughout the campaign has been the same: That this proposal is in the best interest of communities throughout Michigan and will improve our ability to attract and retain talent.

The League’s John LaMacchia, who has been leading our Vote Yes efforts, said this at a recent Proposal 1 event: “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 to 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!”

Here are some details about Proposal 1:

Ballot Proposal:

  • Raises the sales tax from 6% to 7%
  • Exempts sales tax from motor fuel
  • Removes higher education funding from the School Aid Fund
  • Dedicates a portion of the use tax to K-12 education

Statutory Changes Effective Only if Proposal 1 Passes:

  • Increases the tax charged on motor fuel
  • Eliminates the depreciation on vehicle registration fees
  • Increase registration fees on the heaviest trucks
  • Requires more competitive bidding and road warranties
  • Restores the Earned Income Tax Credit to 20% of the federal level

Revenue Generated:

League members - Lapeer City Manager Dale Kerbyson and Lapeer City Commissioner and MML Board member Catherine Bostick-Tullius - talk with Governor Snyder at a Proposal 1 bus tour stop near Davison.

League members – Lapeer City Manager Dale Kerbyson and Lapeer City Commissioner and MML Board member Catherine Bostick-Tullius – talk with Governor Snyder at a Vote Yes on Proposal 1 bus tour stop near Davison.

Fixing our roads will make them safer by repairing dangerous potholes and improving roadway design. Today, many drivers swerve to avoid dangerous potholes or lose control of their vehicles as a result of flat tires.

According to TRIP, a national transportation research organization, roadway design is a contributing factor in about one-third of fatal traffic crashes. Between 2008 and 2012, 4,620 people died in Michigan car accidents – an average of 924 fatalities per year.

For more information about Proposal 1 go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes! webpage.

To learn more about the Safe Road Yes! campaign go here. View here a series of question and answer videos about Proposal 1. Check out what MML members have to say about Proposal 1. See how much your community will get in additional road dollars and constitutional revenue sharing if Proposal 1 is approved. View which Michigan communities 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. The League’s John LaMacchia can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org.

Proposal 1 Offers Michigan’s Last, Best Chance to Fix Roads with Guaranteed Funding

John LaMacchia discusses Proposal 1 at a recent Burton City Council town hall meeting.

John LaMacchia discusses Proposal 1 at a recent Burton City Council town hall meeting.

The fate of Proposal 1 will be decided by voters next week (Tuesday, May 5), and there is one thing guaranteed about the outcome: If it passes it will provide a solution to fix Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure and will guarantee funding for transportation, local government, schools. And if it fails? No one can guarantee a solution out of the state Legislature.

That’s the simple message from the Michigan Municipal League’s John LaMacchia, legislative associate, in his many speaking engagements, media interviews and community meetings about Proposal 1 in recent days, weeks and months. LaMacchia has been the League’s voice on Proposal 1 after the League board unanimously endorsed the road funding package in January.

“The one thing that those for and against Proposal 1 agree on is the longer we take to come up with a transportation funding plan, the worse are roads are going to get,” LaMacchia said.

If Proposal 1 passes, it would guarantee, for the first time, that every penny we pay in state fuel taxes goes to transportation.

Bad-bridge-small-for-webLansing would no longer be able to divert taxes paid on gas to some other state program or service.

Here is some additional information about what Proposal 1 would do:

Ballot Proposal:

  • Raises the sales tax from 6% to 7%
  • Exempts sales tax from motor fuel
  • Removes higher education funding from the School Aid Fund
  • Dedicates a portion of the use tax to K-12 education

Statutory Changes Effective Only if Proposal 1 Passes:

  • Increases the tax charged on motor fuel
  • Eliminates the depreciation on vehicle registration fees
  • Increase registration fees on the heaviest trucks
  • Requires more competitive bidding and road warranties
  • Restores the Earned Income Tax Credit to 20% of the federal level

Revenue Generated:

We would fix more roads instead of just fill potholes if Proposal 1 passes May 5.

We would fix more roads instead of just fill potholes if Proposal 1 passes May 5.

Fixing our roads will make them safer by repairing dangerous potholes and improving roadway design. Today, many drivers swerve to avoid dangerous potholes or lose control of their vehicles as a result of flat tires.

According to TRIP, a national transportation research organization, roadway design is a contributing factor in about one-third of fatal traffic crashes. Between 2008 and 2012, 4,620 people died in Michigan car accidents – an average of 924 fatalities per year.

For more information about Proposal 1 go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes! webpage.

To learn more about the Safe Road Yes! campaign go here. View here a series of question and answer videos about Proposal 1. Check out what MML members have to say about Proposal 1. See how much your community will get in additional road dollars and constitutional revenue sharing if Proposal 1 is approved. View which Michigan communities 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. The League’s John LaMacchia can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org.

Changes to 2015 METRO Act Payments

The Michigan Municipal League has been asked to inform eligible municipalities that the 2015 METRO Act payments may be delayed by approximately 15 to 30 days, due to a change in state law transitioning the functions and responsibilities of the Metropolitan Extension Telecommunications Rights-of-Way Oversight (METRO) Authority to the new Local Community Stabilization Authority (LCSA).

The transition process will have minimal impact on municipalities as all the provisions of the METRO Act, except for the administration of functions and responsibilities of the former METRO Authority, remain unchanged. The primary changes under the LCSA include:

1. Maintenance fee payments from telecommunication providers will be paid to the LCSA and deposited into an LCSA account maintained by Comerica Bank. Payments will not be deposited with the State of Michigan.

2. Comerica Bank will distribute METRO Act payments to municipalities on behalf of the LCSA.

3. Please Note: You will no longer receive METRO Act payments via State of Michigan warrants or electronic transfer. Payments by check or electronic transfer will be processed by Comerica Bank on behalf of the LCSA with a notation that payment is a METRO Act payment.

For more information and FAQ’s about the METRO Act functions of the LCSA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lcsa or e-mail LCSA at metroinfo@michigan.gov. The LCSA expects to create its own new website in the near future. Please click on the following link for a copy of the letter provided by LCSA. Changes to 2015 Metro Act Payments

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.

Michigan Municipal League to Host Safe Roads Symposium in Sterling Heights About Proposal 1

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

Open invitation to Proposal 1 symposium in Sterling Heights March 31.

The Michigan Municipal League will host a Safe Roads Symposium on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The event will take place at the Velocity Collaboration Center, 6633 18 Mile Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48314, and will be open to the public.

A panel of experts will break down the details and impacts of Proposal 1.

To view the official invitation, click here.

For more information please contact the Velocity Collaboration Center at 586-884-9322.

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 Agency Program Urges Submission of Projects

The FHWA is undergoing an effort to modernize the FMIS 4 system to FMIS 5. This development is scheduled to be deployed on April 13, 2015. MDOT has been informed by FHWA that access to FMIS will be unavailable between April 1st and April 13th as they prepare for this conversion. MDOT is doing everything it can to prepare for these deadlines, but please take note that the access and functionality of FMIS 5 beginning April 13th (as with any IT deployments) has the potential to be faulty or unresponsive.

MDOT is requesting that any needs related to an initiation or modification for a job phase after April 1st and for the month of April be submitted by COB March 27th to be processed by MDOT and FHWA by March 30th. We do not want to risk any letting schedules or have project expenditures ineligible for federal reimbursement resulting from an authorization not being in place.

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.

Michigan Communities Pass Resolutions in Support of Proposal 1 for Safe Roads

A road crew fills potholes in Macomb County.

A road crew fills potholes in Macomb County.

Multiple Michigan communities have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1 for Safe Roads ballot item on May 5, but we need more to also declare their support.

So far the League has been informed that the following communities have passed Vote Yes on Proposal 1 resolutions: Clare, Elk Rapids, Lapeer, Norton Shores and Wakefield.

We expect many more resolutions to be approved over the next few weeks.

The Michigan Municipal League is encouraging its member communities to approve resolutions in support of Proposal 1 following the League board’s endorsement of the road funding plan in January. View a sample resolution here.

The League also is asking members to send their local media letters to the editor in support. Go here to view sample letters.

Plywood under bridges attempt to prevent pieces of the bridge from falling on vehicles.

Plywood under bridges attempt to prevent pieces of the bridge from falling on vehicles.

We know that many people still have questions about Proposal 1 and in response we’ve posted this free webinar about the plan and why the League supports it. Check it out here.

Go to the League’s Safe Roads Yes web pages to get additional details, including talking points, neutral information, the official Proposal 1 ballot language, media coverage of the issue, and the amount of additional road revenue and constitution revenue sharing that would go to each community if Proposal 1 passes.

Join the Safe Roads Yes! coalition here.

(Note: Some have asked is it OK for my community to pass a vote yes resolution? Go here for details).

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

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.

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.