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.

Is there a Plan B if Proposal 1 Fails? Why are Michigan’s Roads so Bad? Find Out in New League videos

Fowler plan bIt’s just two weeks until voters decide the fate of Proposal 1 on May 5 and the Michigan Municipal League has just posted a series of question and answer videos to address some of the concerns you may have about the road funding plan.

The videos come from a panel discussion during the League’s 2015 Capital Conference that took place in March.

The general session, “Driving Toward Safer Roads with Proposal 1,” was moderated by Roger Martin, of the Martin Waymire public relations firm and spokesman for the Safe Roads Yes! coalition. Panelists were Mike Flanagan, state superintendent of the Michigan Department of Education; Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan; Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell; and Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

View all the League’s Proposal 1 information here, including an updated list of all the Michigan communities that have passed resolutions in support of Proposal 1.

Steudle bad roadsHere are the questions posed and subsequent answers. The videos are all very short:

The League also has a new slide show illustrating how much in new money for roads and constitutional revenue sharing each Michigan community will receive if Proposal 1 passes. The numbers are substantial. It’s a long video but it’s in alphabetical order so you can advance to the parts you want to see. You can also view a pdf of that video here, which will allow you to advance through the list more easily.

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

LaMacchia: ‘Roads Will Only Get Worse'; Vote Yes on Proposal 1 for New Road Funding in Michigan

About 60 people attend a symposium on Proposal 1 Tuesday in Sterling Heights.

About 60 people attend a symposium on Proposal 1 Tuesday in Sterling Heights.

Last night the Michigan Municipal League hosted a “Safe Roads Symposium” on Proposal 1 in Sterling Heights. The event was attended by about 60 people, including multiple officials from the city of Sterling Heights and surrounding communities.

The League’s John LaMacchia, Legislative Associate, was one of several officials who spoke on the issue as part of a panel during the symposium.

Other event panelists were Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy; Dr. Robert Livernois, Superintendent of Warren Consolidated Schools; Dr. Christine Johns, Superintendent of Utica Community Schools; and Carmine Palombo, Deputy Executive Director of SEMCOG.

During the informative event, LaMacchia gave a brief history of how Proposal 1 came about and why the Michigan Municipal League supports the initiative heading to voters on May 5.

LaMacchia encouraged those attending to vote yes on Proposal 1.

Panelists get ready for the symposium.

Panelists get ready for the symposium.

“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 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!”

For additional information on Proposal 1 go here: http://www.mml.org/advocacy/safe-roads-yes-neutral-info.html.

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

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 Members, Board President Bolen Hear from President Obama at NLC Conference

League members hear President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. Monday morning.

League members hear President Barack Obama in Washington D.C. Monday morning. Photo credit: C-SPAN.

Michigan Municipal League President Dick Bolen led a Michigan contingent to Washington D.C. this week to attend the 50th Annual National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference.  The group had the opportunity to hear President Barack Obama talk Monday morning.

The President’s speech was live streamed by the White House and C-SPAN. You can watch it here.

Bolen, Mayor Pro Tem of Wakefield, and several other Michigan Municipal League members are among more than 2,000 community leaders from throughout the nation to attend the conference this week. The officials will meet with their congressional leaders, attend education sessions and network with officials from other state Leagues and cities.

The focus of this year’s NLC conference is federal priorities and issues facing cities and towns across the country.

Also during the conference, Dan Gilmartin, League CEO and executive director, was named to the NLC’s 2016 Presidential Election Task Force. Gilmartin was one of 17 officials from throughout the nation to serve on the task force, said NLC Board Member Patricia Lockwood, Fenton Mayor Pro Tem. View a press release about this appointment here.

Go here for other conference highlights.

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

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.

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.

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.

League Distributes Letters to the Editor in Support of Transportation Funding Package

There are many transit options in Michigan and a complete transportation funding program would support all of them.

There are many transit options in Michigan and a complete transportation funding program would support all of them.

The Michigan Municipal League sent to the media this week a series of letters to the editor to encourage the state House to approve the transportation funding package passed in the Senate on Nov. 13. The House is considering a couple different transportation funding options and we want the state Representatives to show the same courage as the Senate and pass the comprehensive funding plan that includes HB 5477. Governor Snyder also supports this plan.

The letters were co-penned by people you might not normally see working together, but they’ve found common ground when it comes to getting additional funding to fix Michigan’s failing infrastructure. The letters maintained that increased funding is needed to all forms of transportation (roads, rails, trails, bridges, harbors, non-motorized facilities, and public transit) in order to help build communities where people want to live, work and play.

For example, we sent a letter jointly authored by East Lansing Mayor and MSU alum Nathan Triplett, vice president of the League board; and Ann Arbor Mayor and UM alum Christopher Taylor. The letter starts out with, “As mayors of East Lansing and Ann Arbor, when it comes to college sports there isn’t a whole lot we agree on. But when it comes to the pressing need for increased investment in our state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, we are in total agreement: the time for legislative action is now.”

Other letters were written by the presidents of the Michigan Municipal League Board (Wakefield Mayor Pro Tem Dick Bolen) and Michigan Townships Association Board (Arcada Township Supervisor Doug Merchant); and the mayors of two Michigan cities that are more than 640 driving miles apart – Ironwood’s Kim Corcoran, a member of the League board, and Luna Pier’s David Davison.

We are already getting some traction in the media from the letters so stay tuned to mml.org for links and information about that as it happens. Check out the letter by Triplett and Taylor in the Lansing City Pulse and the letter by Corcoran and Davison in the Battle Creek Enquirer, the Macomb Daily Tribune and the Detroit News.

We’re also encouraging our members to contact their state Reps this week to ask them to approve the package passed in the Senate. You can go here to our Action Center to look up your Reps’ contact information and send them a sample email we’ve prepared for you.

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

 

Michigan Senate Votes for New Funding for Transportation!

There are many transit options in Michigan and a complete transportation funding program would support all of them.

There are many transit options in Michigan and a complete transportation funding program would support all of them.

In a huge vote, the Michigan Senate has just passed HB 5477, a bill that would phase in a new percentage-based gasoline tax that will result in an additional $1.2 billion for transportation funding by 2019. Revenue from other bills in this package result in transportation increases as high as $1.5 billion annually once fully phased in.

The bill would replace the current cents per gallon structure, which is 19 cents per gallon on gasoline and 15 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. Under the bill, the percentage tax on gas would start at 9.5 percent as of April 1, 2015. It would increase to 11.5 percent on January 1, 2016; to 13.5 percent on January 1, 2017; and to 15.5 percent on January 1, 2018.

Thank you to all of our members who reached out to their Senator asking them to support this important legislation. The bill will now need to be approved by the House. Our advocacy efforts cannot end here. We encourage you to immediately begin reaching out to your House member and ask them to vote yes on House Bill 5477 as approved by the Senate.

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.