Having Governor Snyder sign a long-term road funding package in November following the defeat of Proposal 1 back in May was certainly one of the top news stories out of Lansing this year. But there were many other noteworthy accomplishments in 2015 by the Michigan Municipal League’s advocacy staff in Lansing and Washington D.C.
Like in Michigan, Transportation funding was a hot topic in D.C. in 2015. A major long-term package, called the FAST Act, was signed into law by President Obama earlier this month. Of course, the major national issue in 2016 will be the President election and the League is an active supporter of the Cities Lead 2016 platform led by the National League of Cities.
Back in Michigan, 2015 ended with a flurry of activity in the state Legislature as lawmakers took on numerous bills in the final session days of the year. Click on these links below for details about some of the recent activity:
- Commercial Rehab Act Sunset Extension Signed by Governor
- City Income Tax Communities Oppose Senate Changes
- Urge Your Representative to Vote NO on HB 5016
- League Members Testify on Dark Stores Issue; Call for Immediate Fix
Other legislation positively impacting our municipalities include bills allowing for training reciprocity to out-of-state firefighters; cleaning up the personal property tax (PPT) implementation process; establishing the March Presidential Primary as the election date for local ballot questions; extending the Commercial Rehabilitation Act; expanding recreation authorities; clarifying rental inspections; and changing portions of the Mobile Home Commission Act. Some of these bills have been signed into law and others continue to move through the process.
There also are numerous other issues in which the League was very engaged 2015 and will continue to be into 2016 , including the Dark Stores Big Box property tax loophole; local speed limits; and a shift in broadband relocation costs to communities. View the League’s newly created web page dedicated to the Dark Stores issue.
In addition, throughout 2015 the League has been extremely active behind the scenes informing lawmakers about the state’s broken municipal finance system and the need for change. Stay tuned for more on this major initiative in 2016.
The final week of session for the Legislature wrapped up Thursday, Dec. 17. Read more on what happened and for all the latest legislative news be sure to frequently visit the League’s Inside 208 blog here.
Posted by Matt Bach on behalf of the League’s advocacy team.