MDOT Releases Presentation on ADA Ramp Guidelines

The Michigan Department of Transportation has provided the Michigan Municipal League with a PowerPoint presentation regarding the new ADA ramp guidelines. MDOT ADA Presentation

In addition MDOT has release a draft memo on Local Agency 3R guidelines to address changes in ADA requirements and how standards apply for a project with 3R and 4R work. LAP 3R Guidelines 2013 10-21 Draft

For the changes in ADA ramps, the following is a memo that FHWA and DOJ worked on jointly to address different interpretations of when ADA ramps are required for road projects that are considered alterations. The main change is Microsurfacing, Cape Seals and certain multiple CPM treatments will now be considered an alteration and will require ADA ramps to be upgraded.  For multiple CPM treatments, if more than one of those treatments contains aggregate and/or filler, the combination will be considered an alteration. 2013-07-30 – BRIEF – ADA Resurfacing Technical Assistance

For a project that includes 3R and 4R work, the applicable standards will correspond individually to each work type (3R or 4R) within the limits of that work.

FHWA has requested that MDOT implement the revised ADA requirements beginning with projects in the March 2014 bid letting. MDOT has requested that any comments or concerns be sent directly to Larry Doyle. He can be reached at DoyleL@Michigan.gov.

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 Samantha Harkins on Crain’s List of People in Politics to Watch in 2014

The League's Samantha Harkins gets interviewed by a TV news reporter.

Congratulations are in order for Samantha Harkins, the Michigan Municipal League’s Director of State Affairs, for being included on Crain’s Detroit Business list of Top Ten People to Watch in State Politics in 2014.

As the league’s chief lobbyist, she is an important force representing Michigan’s communities in Lansing. She told Crain’s one of her goals this year is changing the law phasing out the state’s personal property tax for business to guarantee complete reimbursement to communities of lost revenue from the tax. As written, the law provides 80 percent.

Samantha is on the list with numerous other well-known Michigan politicians and key political figures, including Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, chair of the state House Transportation Committee; state Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor; Cindy Estrada, United Auto Workers vice president; Emily Dievendorf, managing director at Equality Michigan; Barb Byrum, Ingham County Clerk; Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township; Lon Johnson, of the Michigan Democratic Party; and Ann Flood, Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

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

TRU Survey: Metro Detroiters Want Better Transit and are Willing to Pay for It

The Michigan Municipal League is a strong advocate of improving and investing in our public transportation systems as a proven way to create vibrant livable communities. Transportation Riders United (TRU) has released a survey that continues to prove the demand for quality public transportation and the willingness of the public to pay for it.

In summary:TRU surveyed 2,500 southeast Michigan stakeholders during the summer of 2013. While some knew little about public transit, many others had great ideas and relevant, real-life experiences to share. TRU recommends that we listen to and learn from one another through public engagement and educational activities. Moreover, fully 71% of survey respondents are willing to pay more in taxes for more and better transit.

The following link will provide you with a copy of the report. TRU Survey Report to RTA Nov 2013

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.

6th Annual Michigan Utility Cordination Conference

Key elements in utility coordination are “communication, coordination, and cooperation.” The 6th Annual Michigan Utility Coordination Conference (MUCC) will have participants interactivity communicating with conference presenters. Please consider reserving your calendar for Wednesday, January 22, 2014 and plan on attending what is set up to be the best MUCC yet. The following is a link to the agenda and registration form. MUCC14form

The Michigan Municipal League will be moderating an interactive session that will focus on water and sanitary sewer systems. The session will include representatives from Midland, Novi, and Grand Rapids.

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.

Aviation Fuel Bills Pass the House, Local Revenue Protected

The Michigan House of Representative passed three pieces of legislation changing the way aviation fuel tax is collected. The Michigan Municipal League advocated that local communities revenue not be impacted by this change and that protection of their funding remain tied to the constitution and not an appropriation. Under the House passed version local revenue has been protected

HB4571, sponsored by Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), would change the current excise tax on aviation fuel from 3 cents per gallon to 2 percent of the average wholesale price on each gallon. The change would allow the tax to fluctuate with the price of fuel.

HB 4572, also sponsored by Schmidt, exempts aviation fuel from one-third of the sales tax. It will still be subject to 4% sales tax under the constitution protecting revenue that is shared with local communities

HB 4677, sponsored by Rep. Phil Potvin (R-Cadillac), would backfill money that the School Aid Fund would lose, by shifting some sales tax revenue from the General Fund to the School Aid Fund.

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.

House Local Government Committee Takes Testimony on Sewer Tap-In Fee Legislation

HB 4494 sponsored by Representative Joe Graves was taken up for testimony in House Local Government Committee. This bill would limit a municipalities ability to retroactively charge a sewer tap-in fee to two years from the time a building permit is issued. The Michigan Municipal League has some serious concerns with this legislation and is discussing potential changes with the sponsor. During committee, along with the City of Linden, we expressed our concerns and opposition to the bill as introduced.

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.

Vulnerable Roadway User Legislation Pedals Forward

House Criminal Justice Committee this week voted out HB 5080. This bill would increase the penalties for a driver who committed a moving violation that injured a killed a vulnerable roadway user on a roadway who was in compliance with the vehicle code.

A vulnerable roadway user is defined a pedestrian, a wheelchair user, a bicyclist, or a person operating a transportation device that is in compliance with the Michigan Vehicle Code such as an electric assist bicycle or wheelchair.

Also moving the week was HB 4866 which would add an outward extended right arm as an allowable indicator for a right hand turn while riding a bicycle. This legislation in moving on to the Senate after being voted unanimously out of the House.

The Michigan Municipal League Supports both of these bills.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation and infrastructure issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-905-0303.

Michigan Municipal League’s Partnership for Place Agenda Presented to State Lawmakers

Samantha Harkins discusses the League's Partnership for Place legislative agenda today in Lansing.

Michigan Municipal League staff members met with key state lawmakers today in Lansing about the League’s new proactive legislative agenda, called the Partnership for Place. You can check out the agenda here.

The League is hosting three free webinars for League members about the Partnership for Place agenda 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, and again on Thursday, Aug. 22, and Thursday, Aug. 29. Sign up for any of the one-hour sessions here.

This Partnership for Place legislative agenda is baseed around the belief that thriving communities are key to Michigan’s long-term success and sustainability. The agenda is a commitment of action in partnership between the State and its municipalities to facilitate Michigan’s economic growth and allow for the development of places to provide key services and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life.

The proposed actions called for in the agenda focus on funding, transportation, talent retention, and infrastructure and development. Read the Partnership for Place Agenda.

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

Urgent – Please contact Michigan Legislators today seeking support of increase to revenue sharing

UPDATE: The 4.8 percent increase is now included in the latest budget agreement so the sample letters to the lawmakers have been removed. Read more about this good news for Michigan communities.

Michigan Municipal League Board President David Lossing sent letters to state senators and representatives Tuesday (May 21, 2013) asking for their support of the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2014 general government budget recommendation, which includes a 4.8-percent increase in funding for statutory revenue sharing, now known as the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP).

The League is asking you to also contact your state lawmakers today on this extremely important issue. To make it convenient, you can use the League’s automated letter service by going here to our Action Center. It is imperative you contact your lawmakers today or tomorrow as we expect a vote on the budget this week or early next week.

While this Senate proposal does not come close to replacing the $6 billion in local revenue sharing cut by Lansing legislators and governors since 2001, it will at least help stop the bleeding and provide desperately needed funds for local police and fire protection, road and bridge maintenance, and other essential local services.

Here is an excerpt of the letter from League President Lossing, mayor of Linden:

As the state’s economy slumped over the past dozen years, past decisions made by the Michigan Legislature to cut local revenue sharing were used to make up for the difference in the state’s budget gap. Now that Michigan is on the rebound, this modest increase to statutory revenue sharing adopted by the Michigan State Senate is reasonable and begins the process of ending fiscal pain felt by many of our communities. Cities and villages across our great state, including the city of Linden, have been tightening our fiscal belts for several years to weather this financial storm.

Now is the time to begin making strategic investments in our communities by increasing statutory revenue sharing in the FY 2013-14 budget, to make “Better Communities, Better Michigan.”

View a version of the Senate letter here. View a version of the House letter here.

The League encourages all our members to contact their lawmakers today on this issue. Feel free to write your own letter and/or use the sample letter provided in our Action Center. You can go here to get the contact information for your state officials.

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

League Encourages State to Put Surplus Toward Restoring Revenue Sharing Cuts

LANSING, Michigan - A report saying the state of Michigan has nearly $400 million has the Michigan Municipal League requesting that the state use some of that surplus to restore massive cuts made to local revenue sharing. A consensus report released today (May 15, 2013) by state economists shows that revenues for the current fiscal year are $396.9 million higher than expected for the general fund for the current 2012-13 fiscal year.

The Michigan Municipal League has responded to this announcement by issuing a press release to media throughout Michigan calling for a portion of that surplus to go back to Michigan communities. View the League’s press release here. View an mlive.com article about the budget surplus that includes mention of the League’s request.

Here’s a portion of the press release:
“Over the past dozen years, the Legislature and governor have cut local revenue sharing by more than $6 billion, breaking promise after promise and ignoring statutes that require the appropriations to local communities,” said Daniel Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, in the press release. “Instead of appropriating the funds for local services, Lansing used the funds to fill holes in the state budget, to cut taxes, and for other state programs and services. While we recognize the state’s economy was in bad shape, and many state budgets were cut, local revenue sharing paid a far higher price than all the others.”

Gilmartin said the state budget surplus gives the Legislature and governor the opportunity to return some of the cuts they made to local services that keep people safe in their neighborhoods, keep local drinking water clean, maintain local roads and bridges, fund local parks and libraries, and more.

“The state Senate has proposed a 4.8-percent increase in local revenue sharing for the 2014 state budget. Given the anticipated state budget surplus, anything less than that is unacceptable and unconscionable,” Gilmartin said. “I promise that local leaders and their constituents will remember if the Legislature fails to invest part of the surplus to restore some of the massive cuts Lansing has made to revenue sharing and essential local services.”

Gilmartin said that using the surplus to restore cuts to revenue sharing “becomes critical” if the personal property tax (PPT) law passed by the Legislature in December is approved by Michigan voters next year.The PPT law would cut local taxes paid by local businesses to local communities across the state by hundreds of millions of dollars. The law will not take effect unless it is approved by Michigan voters in August 2014. The Legislature has not yet voted to put the question onto the ballot.

Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (810) 874-1073 and mbach@mml.org.