Governor Snyder Announces Bipartisan Deal on Transportation Funding

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

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

Governor Snyder announced today (Dec. 18, 2014) that he and legislative leaders have come to an agreement on transportation funding. All votes from the House and Senate are expected today.

The plan calls for several statutory changes and is heavily reliant on a 1% increase in sales tax that will be put on the ballot May 2015. If all is approved, it will raise about $1.3 billion annually for roads and transit. The package also includes additional funding for local governments outside of the road funding formula.

The League and its partners are still combing through the details of the plan and we will have a full analysis to the members as soon as possible.

Here are some of the details that have emerged: This is a comprehensive proposal to address the dramatic shortfall that exists in Michigan’s transportation system. The announced plan is contingent upon voter approval, but provides significant new money do address our deteriorating transportation system.  Some key funding components of the plan include:

  • $1.2 billion annually of new money for roads
  • $94 million of new money for local government
  • $112 million for transit
  • $300 million for schools

Click here for a decent breakdown of the transportation funding plan, with additional details, by the Associated Press.

League members with additional questions about the plan can contact the League’s John LaMacchia II a jlamacchia@mml.org and 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.

 

Bill Creating a Municipal Utility Residential Clean Energy Program Act Sent to the Governor

This afternoon House Bill 5397 was sent to the governor after unanimously passing the Senate. This bill creating the Municipal Utility Residential Clean Energy Program Act and would enable municipalities that own electric utilities to establish a program to help provide financing to residential property owners for energy efficiency projects. This is modeled after the PACE Act.

This legislation passed the full House prior to the legislative recess in June on a 108 to 2 vote.

This is an idea that was brought to Rep. Joe Haveman’s attention by the city of Holland who would like the opportunity to create a program such as this. The League has been supportive of this bill throughout the process and is very pleased that it has been sent to the Governor.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at sharkins@mml.org or 517-908-0306.

Transportation Funding Talks Ongoing: Stay Tuned, We May Need You

The League supports a comprehensive transportation funding solution that services all modes of transportation, including roads, rails, trails, and ports.

The League supports a comprehensive transportation funding solution that services all modes of transportation, including roads, rails, trails, and ports.

Usually the term is “hurry up and wait,” but this week when it comes to transportation funding in Lansing it’s more like “wait and possibly hurry up.”

That’s the situation currently at the state Capitol. Michigan legislators have been meeting behind closed doors to come up with a transportation funding package. The Michigan Municipal League is anxiously waiting to see what they’ll come up with. Once the League learns what the proposal is we could very well be asking our members to do a “hurry up and do XYZ” scenario. So we’re asking our members to be in stand-by mode and ready to make phone calls and send emails if necessary.

Of course, we’re hoping the lawmakers come up with a transportation funding solution that does not negatively impact communities. If that happens, we may ask you to contact your lawmakers in support of the plan.

Here are some links to recent blogs we’ve written on the issue that explain what’s happened up to this point:

Dec. 12: Transportation Funding Bills Sent to Conference

Dec. 9: League Needs Your Help on Transportation Issue

Dec. 8: Ask Michigan Senators to Pass Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan

Related: Bills Requiring Regulation of Transportation Network Companies Dead This Session!

For questions regarding the transportation funding issue, contact the League’s John LaMacchia II at jlamacchia@mml.org and 517-908-0303.

Michigan Water Environment Association to Host Seminar on Infrastructure Project Funding

Utility systems are continually being challenged to provide quality services while budgets are being decreased. This seminar has been developed to provide relevant information to Utility Owners, Managers, Superintendents, and Consultants associated with infrastructure systems. Attendees will be informed of current funding programs and what other utilities are doing to stay ahead of today’s challenges with infrastructure systems.

For more information on this helpful seminar being hosted by the Michigan Water Environment Association please click on the following link. 2015 Infrastructure Postcard

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.

Bill Requiring Statewide Regulation of Transportation Network Companies Dead this Session!

HB 5951 would provide statewide regulations for Transportation Network Companies (TNC). The most recognizable TNC operating in Michigan today is Uber. This bill would preempt local control of a TNC but it does allow for locals to enforce provisions of the statewide regulation. We have many communities that have already negotiated contracts with and regulate TNCs. This would make those contracts null and void. After opposition from the League and others, HB 5951will not be passed this session.

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 Main Street Fairness Legislation

Yesterday afternoon the Senate passed two bills, SB 658 and SB 659, that would require that a sales tax be added on to purchases made by retailers who have a so-called “nexus” within the state. These bills are more commonly known as the Main Street Fairness legislation.

The bill includes a seller who sells “tangible personal property” and includes new provisions that a seller is presumed to have a nexus if it uses its employees, agents, representatives, or independent contractors to promote sales to purchasers.

It also tags a seller if it shares management, business systems, business practices, or employees with the seller, or in the case of an affiliated person, engages in “Intercompany transactions” with the seller to establish or maintain the seller’s market.

And a seller is presumed to have a nexus in the state if its total cumulative gross receipts from sales for storage, use or consumption to purchasers in this state exceed $50,000 during the immediately preceding 12 months.

The League is supportive of this legislation that now heads to the House for review. The House also has its own versions, House Bills 4202 and 4203.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at sharkins@mml.org or 517-908-0306.

Senate Committee Passes Cell Tower Colocation Bill

Yesterday the Senate Energy & Technology Committee reported House Bill 4237, a bill that would open state police communications towers to colocation for broadband expansion.

As introduced, this legislation would allow both public and private entities to colocate for the purpose of broadband expansion; however, a substitute passed by the committee would limit this to only private entities for three years and then allow public entities to colocate only in “underserved areas.”

The League is a staunch supporter of broadband expansion; however, banning public entities from this colocation seeks to inhibit broadband expansion to only if a private entity decides to expand. This is a disservice to Michigan residents and job providers as broadband access becomes more necessary for both businesses and residents.

We continue to oppose this version of the legislation and encourage you to contact your Senate members to do the same. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at sharkins@mml.org or 517-908-0306.

Pneumatic Gun Legislation Passes the House

Yesterday the House passed  Senate Bill 979 (sponsored by Sen. Hildenbrand, R-Grand Rapids), a bill to include pneumatic guns (i.e. paint ball guns) in the list of pistols or other firearms that local units of government currently cannot tax, regulate ownership of, registration of, sale/transfer/possession and transportation of (PA 319 of 1990).

The legislation does allow a local unit to regulate the possession of a pneumatic gun in someone under the age of 16 unless it is their private property as well as allow a local unit to prohibit discharging of a pneumatic gun in heavily populated areas.

The League is opposing this legislation. The bill will now head to the Governor for his signature once the Senate concurs.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at sharkins@mml.org or 517-908-0306.

Community Benefits Prohibition Bill Dead This Session!

Last night the House failed to pass House Bill 5977, legislation that would prohibit local units of government from creating a “community benefits ordinance”. The League vehemently opposes this bill because it is an egregious violation of local control.

The Constitutional 5-day rule requires that a bill be in a legislative chamber for 5 calendar days before it can be taken up. For example all House bills must have passed the House and Senate bills must have passed the Senate. As a result of the 5-day rule any legislation that did not pass the first chamber yesterday is dead this legislative session because next week is the last week of session this term. A bill would have to be reintroduced in January to start the process anew.

Earlier this week the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness refused to hear our testimony in opposition to House Bill 5977. So we did a video of what we would have said and posted it on the internet and on our social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter).

The video made an impact along with our working with members in the lobby this week to ask for their no vote. Thank you to the legislators who were a staunch no. We appreciate your taking a stand for your communities!

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the League handling municipal finance issues.  She can be reached at sharkins@mml.org or 517-908-0306.

Bill Requiring Statewide Regulation of Transportation Network Companies Awaits House Vote

HB 5951 would provide statewide regulations for Transportation Network Companies (TNC). The most recognizable TNC operating in Michigan today is Uber. This bill would preempt local control of a TNC but it does allow for locals to enforce provisions of the statewide regulation. We have many communities that have already negotiated contracts with and regulate TNCs. This would make those contracts null and void. The League is opposed to this bill.

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