Proposal 1 FREE Webinar Now Available from Michigan Municipal League

A newly posted webinar (watch above) by the Michigan Municipal League lays out the details on Proposal 1 heading to voters May 5 and includes neutral information as well as details on why the League supports the proposal. The League is an active member of the Safe Roads Yes! coalition that is backing Proposal 1. Check out the League’s Safe Roads Yes! webpages that explains the impact Proposal 1 will have on Michigan municipalities.

Bad Roads Potholes April 2014 Local Roads Matter (2)-square-small-webThe webinar by the League’s John LaMacchia II took place on Friday (Feb 27, 2015) and is available for viewing for free for League and community members. The webinar focuses on the history leading up to the Legislature coming up with Proposal 1, what it means for communities and how there’s no Plan B for fixing our roads should the plan fail on May 5.

There has been a lot of media coverage and work by the Safe Roads Yes! coalition in recent days regarding Proposal 1. One of the best, most informative pieces came out Friday (Feb. 27, 2015) by the Detroit Free Press. With the headline, “Roads 101: What you need to know about Proposal 1,” the opinion piece by the Freep editorial board is in question and answer format. It does an excellent job laying out some of the concerns people may have about Proposal 1 and then addressing those concerns.

One other thing that happened late last week was the approval of the official ballot language for Proposal 1. You can read that here.

In addition, the League continues to ask its member communities to approve resolutions in support of Proposal 1. These resolutions are vital to letting your residents know that Proposal 1 is good for communities and will improve our deteriorating roads. Go here for a sample resolution in both Word and PDF formats.

League members who have questions about Proposal 1 should contact the League’s John LaMacchia II at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

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

Webinar on Proposal 1 is Friday for Michigan Municipal League Members

The League is hosting a free webinar on Friday about Proposal 1.

The League is hosting a free webinar on Friday about Proposal 1.

We’ve heard you have questions about Proposal 1. Well, the Michigan Municipal League has answers.

Participate in our FREE webinar 11 a.m. to noon Friday (Feb. 27, 2015) about the road funding proposal that is heading to voters May 5. The hour-long webinar will be led by the League’s transportation expert John LaMacchia II.

The session will give you all you need to know about the road funding proposal, what it means for your communities, how you can inform your residents about it, and why the League Board of Trustees supports it.

Click here to sign up.

Go here to learn more about the proposal and how the League is asking Michigan communities to pass resolutions in support of the plan.

Vote yes on Proposal 1. Join the coalition at SafeRoadsYes.com.

Vote yes on Proposal 1. Join the coalition at SafeRoadsYes.com.

And check out our web page geared toward Michigan’s cities and villages regarding Proposal 1. This web page provides community-specific information about Proposal 1 and its impact on municipalities. The page has neutral, information-only documents regarding Proposal 1. It also has information on why the League believes you and your residents should vote yes, and documents showing projected road revenue and revenue sharing dollars should Proposal 1 pass.

If you have about Proposal 1 please contact the League’s John LaMacchia at 517-908-0303, jlamacchia@mml.org.

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.

League Board Unanimously Supports Michigan Road Funding Ballot Proposal on May 5

League Vice President Nathan Triplett and President Dick Bolen listen to Governor Snyder discuss the state's road funding ballot initiative. The board voted to support the effort going before voters May 5.
League Vice President Nathan Triplett and President Dick Bolen listen to Governor Snyder discuss the state’s road funding ballot initiative. The board voted to support the effort going before voters May 5.

The Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees met with Governor Snyder on Friday, January 23, and following that discussion unanimously agreed to support the May 5 ballot proposal. The Board of Trustee believes that this proposal to support Michigan’s roads, schools and cities, is in the best interest of Michigan’s communities. The League will be taking an active role as an organization to help ensure its passage.

Support for the May 5th ballot proposal was based on the following factors:

  • The proposal provides for a sustainable long-term investment in Michigan’s infrastructure that includes $1.2 billion for roads and bridges, and more than $100 million for transit on an annual basis.
  • The proposal would also increase constitutional revenue sharing by more than $100 million annually.
  • Combined, this investment in Michigan’s transportation network and communities represents a significant step forward in building attractive and vibrant places.
Members of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees listen to Governor Snyder discuss the state's road funding ballot initiative. The board voted to unanimously support the effort going before voters May 5.

Members of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees listen to Governor Snyder discuss the state’s road funding ballot initiative. The board voted to unanimously support the effort going before voters May 5.

In the coming weeks the League will be working with other supporters help develop and implement a “Yes” campaign for Proposal 1.

Stay tuned for specifics ways your community can get involved and for information on the specific fiscal impact to each municipality.

Go here for additional photos from Friday’s board meeting featuring Governor Snyder.

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.

League’s John LaMacchia Participates in Road Funding Bill Signing with Governor Snyder

The League's John LaMacchia (left) attends the road funding bill signing Monday.

The League’s John LaMacchia (left) attends the road funding bill signing Monday.

The Michigan Municipal League’s John LaMacchia II was among the dignitaries invited to the official signing of the road funding package approved by the Legislature last month. Governor Rick Snyder signed the bills during an event in Lansing Monday afternoon.

Late in December, the House and Senate put together the framework for a comprehensive long-term solution for investing in Michigan’s infrastructure. Although the Michigan Municipal League would have liked the Legislature to solve this problem independently, they approved a ballot proposal that will be put before the voters in May 2015. Read the lame duck recaps on Inside 208, the League’s legislative blog.

Read this blog for details on the road funding package.

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

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.

Legislation Allowing Golf Carts on Local Roads Sent to the Governor

HB 5045 which allows golf carts on local roads sent to the Governor. 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 than 30,000
    • The operator must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid driver’s 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 cannot 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

Transportation Funding Bills Sent to Conference

In the second to last week of lame duck session, tensions were high as transportation talks continued. The House and Senate sent the transportation bills to conference committees where a small bi-partisan group of six legislators will ultimately vote on the conference report being negotiated by legislative leadership and the Governor. The conferees in the Senate are Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-Holland), Sen. Mike Kowall (R-White Lake) and Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint). The House conferees are Rep. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), Rep. Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker) and Rep. Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser). The legislative leadership and Governor have met for several hours in each of the last few days on this issue, and we anticipate some sort of resolution 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

League Needs Your Help on Transportation Issue This Week

The League supports a comprehensive transportation-funding solution that supports all forms of transportation, not just roads.

The League supports a comprehensive transportation-funding solution that supports all forms of transportation, not just roads.

This week is likely to be very busy in Lansing when it comes to transportation funding and the League will need your help. Many of you have already contacted your lawmakers on this issue in recent days, but we need you to keep the pressure on. Stay tuned to our Inside 208 blog for the most up-to-date information and calls to action.

Here is what we know as of today:

  1. There are two transportation funding plans being considered. One is the Senate-approved plan that the League supports because it provides additional funding for our complete transportation system. The second is the House-approved plan that the League opposes because it would shift dollars away from local governments, schools, transit and the general fund into roads. The House plan relies on projected increases in economic growth to make up for lost revenue, which simply isn’t reliable.
  2. A new transportation funding vote could take place in the Senate this week.
  3. The League will oppose any plan that puts funding to municipalities at risk.

Here is what the League would like you to do this week:

  1. Contact you state senators asking them to reject the House transportation plan and pass the transportation-funding solution approved by the Senate on Nov. 13. GO HERE to our Action Center to get their contact information and send a sample email that we’ve prepared for you. Talking points for your state senators: A. We need to fix the roads and our transportation system without hurting local governments, schools and public transit. B. We stand behind Governor Snyder and his desire to solve this road-funding problem with new revenue. Taking money from others is not the right solution. C. The Legislature should not solve the road funding problem by reducing revenue sharing and relying on “projected economic growth” forecasts to make up for lost revenue. This is a risk we cannot afford.
  2. Contact your state representatives to express your opposition to the House-approved plan. Ask them to oppose any transportation-funding plan that is potentially harmful financially to municipalities, schools and public transit. Feel free to thank those representatives who voted against the House-plan. And for those who voted for the House-plan ask them why they are willing to put at risk funding to schools, municipalities and public transit? Below is a list of how the representatives voted on this short-sighted and irresponsible House plan.
  3. League Board Member Nathan Triplett (right) on Fox 2 Detroit's Let It Rip.

    League Board Member Nathan Triplett (right) on Fox 2 Detroit’s Let It Rip.

    To help craft your responses, check out a recent interview League Board Vice President and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett did on Fox 2 Detroit. On the “Let It Rip” program with Rep. Anthony Forlini, Triplett did an excellent job discussing why the Senate proposal is best, how the House plan would hurt communities, schools and transit, and why additional revenue is needed to support a comprehensive transportation plan. To hear Triplett’s responses to hard-hitting questions, watch segment 1 and segment 2 from the show.

How representatives voted on the House plan (info from this Detroit Free Press article):

House Bill 4539 — removes the 6% sales tax on fuel sales over a six-year phase-in. It passed 56-53

Voting yes: Jase Bolger, R-Marshall; John Bumstead, R-Newaygo; Mike Callton, R-Nashville; Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant; Hugh Crawford, R-Novi; Kevin Daley, R-Attica; Cindy Denby; R-Fowlerville; Jeff Farrington, R-Utica; Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Townshiip; Frank Foster, R-Pellston; Ray Franz, R-Onekama; Ben Glardon, R-Owosso; Ken Goike, R-Ray Township; Joseph Graves, R-Argentine Township; Gail Haines, R-Waterford; Joe Haveman, R-Holland; Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth; Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center; Martin Howrylak, R-Troy; Bradford Jacobsen, R-Oxford; Nancy Jenkins, R-Clayton; Joel Johnson, R-Clare; Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw; Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township; Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake; Kenneth Kurtz, R-Coldwater;Andrea LaFontaine, R-Richmond; Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway; Tom Leonard, R-Lansing; Matt Lori, R-Constantine; Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township; Lisa Lyons, R-Alto; Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford; Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin; Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan; Michael McCready, R-Birmingham; Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills; Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton; Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage; Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes; Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Earl Poleski, R-Jackson; Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac; Amanda Price, R-Holland; Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville; Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City; Bill Rogers, R-Brighton; Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City; Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake; Pat Somerville, R-New Boston; Jim Stamas, R-Midland; Robert VerHeulen, R-Walker; Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville; John Walsh, R-Livonia; Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia; Dale Zorn, R-Ida.

Voting no: Theresa Abed, D-Grand Ledge; Brian Banks, D-Grosse Pointe Woods; Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills; Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids; Terry Brown, D-Pigeon; Charles Brunner, D-Bay City; Phil Cavanagh, D-Redford Township; Paul Clemente, D-Lincoln Park; Tom Cochran, D-Mason; George Darany, D-Dearborn; Scott Dianda, D-Calumet; Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids; Gretchen Driskell, D-Saline; Fred Durhal, D-Detroit; Pam Faris, D-Clio; Douglas Geiss, D-Taylor; Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck; Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills; Harold Haugh, D-Roseville; Rudy Hobbs, D-Lathrup Village; Marcia Hovey-Wright, D-Muskegon; Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor; Andrew Kandrevas, D-Southgate; John Kivela, D-Marquette; David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights; Robert Kosowski, D-Westland; Collene Lamonte, D-Montague; Marilyn Lane, D-Fraser; Bill LaVoy, D-Monroe; Ellen Lipton, D-Huntington Woods; Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo; Paul Muxlow, R-Brown City; David Nathan, D-Detroit; Stacy Oakes, D-Saginaw; Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs; Phil Phelps, D-Flint; Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores; Rose Robinson, D-Detroit; David Rutledge, D-Ypsilanti; Harvey Santana, D-Detroit; Andy Schor, D-Lansing; Kate Segal, D-Battle Creek; Sam Singh, D-East Lansing; Dian Slavens, D-Canton Township; Charles Smiley, D-Burton; Thomas Stallworth, D-Detroit; Woodrow Stanley; D-Flint; Jon Switalski, D-Warren; Alberta Talabi, D-Detroit; Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit; Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak; Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights; Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor.

Not voting: John Olumba, I-Detroit.

For questions on this transportation-funding issue, contact at the League’s John LaMacchia II at (517) 908-0303 or jlamacchia@mml.org.

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

Speaker Bolger Road Funding Plan Voted Out of the House

House Speaker Jase Bolger’s (R-Marshall) transportation funding plan, which would shift dollars that currently go to local governments, schools, transit, and the general fund to roads, was voted out of the House without a single democratic vote.

The plan relies on projected revenue increases, which supporters say will more than counter-balance the revenue shift. In an attempt to keep local funding at current levels, language was added to the bill that says if state spending on local governments falls below the previous year, the sales tax phase-out would be repealed. The League has very serious concerns and is continuing to express its strong opposition to this plan. Holding communities harmless and not allowing them to benefit from a growing economy by shifting money over to road funding is not the comprehensive solution for which the League is advocating.

Members voted 56-53 for HB 4539, which would phase out the sales tax on gasoline over six years. The bill would remove 1 percent of the 6 percent sales tax each year from 2016 to 2020. HB 5477 would gradually increase the state’s gasoline tax to balance out the drop in the sales tax over that same time period. Eventually, the sales tax on gas would be 0 percent and the state’s new wholesale gasoline tax would be 13.5 percent, resulting in a $1.1 billion increase in Act 51 allocation. This plan also results in a $48 million cut to the Comprehensive Transportation Fund (CTF), which funds public transit, by 2020.

Additionally, all new transportation revenue generated under the plan would go to only the State Trunk Line Fund, counties, cities and villages. The CTF would lose out on another $97 million in new revenue by not allocating the money to the full Act 51 formula. At a time when we should be investing in public transit in Michigan as a way to attract and retain talent, this plan significantly reduces the current investment in public transit.

For the fiscal analysis 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.