A Year in Review: 2006 MITA Legislative Accomplishments

Last year proved to be a busy and productive year for MITA’s legislative operations. From lobbying for increased infrastructure funding to regulatory reforms and tax relief, MITA is proud to tout a series of impressive accomplishments for 2006.

A recap of last year’s legislative successes:

• Supported the “Local Jobs Today” initiative, providing the $80 million local match needed to secure an additional $320 million in federal money for projects in 2006 and 2007.

• Created a new law to provide $40 million in grants for local communities to pay for the up-front costs required for State Revolving Fund loans. Loan applications more than tripled to almost $600 million this year.

• Passed legislation restoring an Hours of Service exemption for intrastate truck drivers in the construction industry.

• At the urging of MITA, Governor Granholm included significant Personal Property Tax relief in her proposed SBT replacement plan.

• Jump-started the DRIVE MI campaign which included setting up meetings with over two dozen legislators, conducting eight focus groups around the state, completing a poll of 1,200 registered voters, publishing a web site and circulating over 10,000 Drive MI brochures to public opinion leaders promoting increased transportation funding.

• Helped create a new law to pave the way for AT&T to invest $1 billion in infrastructure to provide video services to Michigan residents.

• Helped fund and defeat two critical proposals on the 2006 ballot – the K-16 money grab proposal and the Stop Over Spending plan – both would have had very damaging effects on road and infrastructure funding across the state of Michigan.

• Tallied an impressive 69-3 record of supporting winning candidates for the Legislature with MITA PAC dollars, including picking all four caucus legislative leaders for next term.

• Protected road dollars by requiring alternative fuel tax breaks to be reimbursed from the state’s general fund.

• Exempted construction workers from being required to get background checks before working on school property.

• Required federal road funds which are sold by local governments to be used for originally-intended purposes rather than diverted away from road projects.

• Capped interdepartmental grants and required Department of Treasury to justify their raids on the MTF based on actual time and effort spent collecting the gas tax.

• Scuttled attempts to require crumb rubber to be used in asphalt mixes.

• Opposed attempts to require a costly new county drain commission permit when construction activities cross a drain.

• Formed a coalition to encourage greater use of available clean water funds by local units of governments.

• Supported the replacement of the “Old Blue” Michigan license plate, bringing in an estimated $4-10 million in additional road dollars.

Much of MITA’s success in accomplishing our legislative mission and goals can be attributed to our strong PAC and the willingness of our members to commit their financial resources to this important cause. We want to once again thank those who have so graciously supported our efforts and also encourage support from members who have not yet done so.

More information regarding the MITA PAC can be found under the legislative section on our web site.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Nystrom, Vice President of Government & Public Relations at mikenystrom@mi-ita.com or Keith Ledbetter, Director of Legislative Affairs at keithledbetter@mi-ita.com , or call the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.