NEWLY FORMED SENATE TASKFORCE TO DISCUSS INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING
As discussion continues between legislative leaders on how we adequately fund our transportation system in Michigan, the Michigan Senate has formed a special Transportation Task Force. Members of the Task Force consist of Chairman Roger Kahn, Senator John Pappageorge and Senator Rebekah Warren. Tentatively the Task Force is scheduled to hold five hearings with the topics being: Overview of Asset Management and Efficiencies; Description of Current Revenue, Conditions and Maintenance Needs; Description of Current Revenue and Maintenance Needs, and Estimated Funding Requirement; Costs of Not Meeting Maintenance Need, Benefits of Increased Investment; and finally, Funding Sources, Level of Funding Requirement, and the Net Effect of Both.
Throughout the inception of the special Task Force, MITA has been involved in recommending to the Chairman’s office which topics to discuss and the proper experts to discuss those topics. In addition, MITA will be specifically participating in two of the committee hearings giving the industry’s perspective on our current investment level for infrastructure and the benefits to our state for increased investment.
The first hearing occurred Tuesday October 2 and had a variety of local road agencies and others discussing the efficiencies and reforms that have occurred in the way we build our roads over the past several years. The Task Force members got a real sense of the progress that has been made to ensure that taxpayers in our state are getting the best product for their money. Future hearings are scheduled for October 16, October 30, November 7 and November 13. MITA is hopeful that this continued discussion of the lack of adequate funding for our transportation system will result in the Legislature finding a solution to our infrastructure needs.
TWO BALLOT PROPOSALS DEVASTATING TO INDUSTRY IF PASSED
There are six statewide ballot proposals appearing on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot. Two of which could have significant impacts on the future of the heavy construction industry in Michigan. We are urging MITA members to vote “NO” on Proposal 5 and Proposal 6.
Proposal 5, if passed, would require a 2/3 majority of the legislature or a vote of the people for any future tax increases. This would include any changes to our current tax structure. Our goal of increased funding for infrastructure in Michigan would be nearly impossible to accomplish if a 2/3 majority of the legislature would have to support its passage.
Proposal 6, if passed, would require a vote of the people before the State of Michigan can construct or finance new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles. This could halt construction on the New International Trade Crossing that has been approved by Governor Snyder and the Canadian government.
If you have any questions regarding these proposals or any of the other ones that will be placed on this elections ballot, please do not hesitate to contact Lance at the MITA office at (517) 347-8336.