Legislative 004-Federal Funding Update

Leaders of Michigan’s Transportation Team (MTT) visited Washington, D.C. March 2-3 to urge Congress to pass legislation that will at long last provide more equitable transportation funding for the state. The team, including Mike Nystrom, MITA vice president of government and public relations and MTT co-chair, met with members of Michigan’s congressional delegation and key committee staff.

The issue of fair funding has been an ongoing issue of MTT, a coalition that plans to do everything possible to make sure the needs of Michigan are addressed before the current authorization expires May 31, 2005. Legislation has been introduced in the House (H.R. 3, “The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users”) that would reauthorize long-term surface transportation funding. Specifics of the legislation are still being negotiated, but one scenario would result in at least $100 million or more annually in increased funding for Michigan. The bill was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee March 2 and is scheduled for a vote the week of March 7.

MITA’s Mike Nystrom was joined in Washington by MTT Co-Chairs Rich Studley, senior vice president of government relations for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and Dennis Gillow, business agent of Operating Engineers Local 324, Rich Lehman, Levy Companies and Sarah Hubbard of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

MTT will make a second trip to Washington April 26-28 during the annual Fly-In sponsored by MITA. The goal of this trip is to support highway construction funding and to discuss other key issues in the reauthorization of TEA-21 during meetings with key congressional delegates.