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.

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

Congress Passes Temporary Transportation Spending Bill

Hours before adjourning for their August recess, the US Senate passed the House version of the temporary spending bill to prevent the insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund and the continued authorization of MAP-21 through May 2015. The Senate had tried to shorten the time frame, hoping to force the discussion on long term solutions sooner rather than later, but had to concede at the end of the day. The bill, which passed on a 81-13 vote, inserts $11 Billion into the fund from a variety of sources, including pension smoothing. The League supports a long term solution to transportation funding, and is hopeful that after years of extensions, a serious discussion on the ongoing funding of our nation’s infrastructure will be had in the coming months.

Summer Minnick is the Director of Policy Initiatives and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnicki@mml.org.

 

Senate Passes Their Version of Temporary Federal Transportation Funding

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The US Senate voted last night to pass their version of a short term extension of MAP-21 and some federal funds to cover the expenses of the Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run out of money within days or weeks. Last week, the House passed a version that would have made the extension through May 2015. However, the Senate yesterday added some pressure by only funding transportation until December 19, 2014. Therefore, creating a greater sense of urgency to come up with a long term plan to fund that nation’s infrastructure. The House now has only two days to accept the changes to continue to try and negotiate before they leave for August recess at the conclusion of session this Thursday, July 31st.

Summer Minnick is the Director of Policy Initiatives and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnick@mml.org.

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.

Temporary Fix for Federal Transportation Crisis Passes House

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a temporary spending bill that would fund the Highway Trust Fund and extend MAP-21 until May 2015. The bill, HR 5021, would inject $10.9 Billion into the fund, which was projected to run out of money within weeks. The House’s proposal gets the funding from “pension smoothing,” customs user fees, and an account which was set to be used for leaking underground storage tanks.The bill now heads to the Senate for passage. There are positive indications that the Senate will support the measure, as there are only two weeks left until Congress leaves for their August recess.

Summer Minnick is the Director of Policy Initiatives and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnick@mml.org.

Federal Transportation Department Tells State Transportation Departments Money is Running Out

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has sent a letter to all State Department of Transportation Directors letting them know that because of the funding shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, reduced payments to states will begin starting August 1st absent Congressional action in order to manage cash flow. The letter is attached below.

There is still no solution agreed upon by Congress. However, the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees leadership are meeting to focus on a short term fix that will fund transportation through the end of the fiscal year. The Congressional Budget Office has been warning officials that the Trust Fund would be insolvent in August for the past year. We will continue to keep you posted as this issue progresses and as further impacts are known.

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Summer Minnick is the Director of Policy Initiatives and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnick@mml.org.

Award for Enterprising City/State for Sustainable Transportation Available through MobiPrize Until July 7th!

MobiPrize, an award program through SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research and Transformation) at the University of Michigan, has added a City/State category to their sustainable transportation awards this year. The deadline for the applications is July 7th. The award is for cities that have demonstrated active efforts to build a culture of innovation and encourage entrepreneurship in sustainable transportation through enabling policy changes, capacity building, data sharing, funding (ppp) and other resource allocation efforts, etc.

To access the flyer with additional details, click here. And, to visit the website, click here.

Summer Minnick is the Director of Policy initiatives and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnick@mml.org.

Federal Transportation Funding Remains in Danger of Becoming Insolvent

Congress is unfortunately not any closer to solving the federal transportation crisis. The Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of funding within weeks, yet Congress can’t agree on either a long term solution or short term fix. Recently, Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn) and Patrick Murphy (D-Conn) proposed legislation to boost the federal gas and diesel taxes by 12 cents per gallon over two years, but there is not much optimism that this solution would be considered in time to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent or before MAP-21 expired at the end of September.

There will be growing pressure on Congress to act soon and most expect a very temporary solution to get Congress through until after the November election, which is not great news for local communities, looking at long term planning for transportation projects.

The League will keep you posted on any updates regarding this issue in the coming weeks.

Summer Minnick is the Director of Policy initiatives and Federal Affairs. She can be reached at 517-908-0301 or sminnick@mml.org.