With the Legislature taking a breather last week following their work on no-fault auto insurance reform (Senate Bill 1), the focus from Lansing was on the activity at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. Members of our State & Federal Affairs team attended the conference to assist with the SaveMICity activities that took place during the conference and to network with key legislators and state department staff.
We were able to meet individually with state budget and legislative leaders responsible for revenue sharing and road funding and key MEDC and MDOT officials. We also met with numerous legislators, leaders, and staff to highlight League member priority issues throughout the week. Beyond these meetings, the highlight of the week was the reception we co-hosted with our partners at the MI Association of Counties, and the MI Townships Association. Over two dozen legislators, state department officials, Governor’s staff, and non-profit foundation leaders attended this reception as we talked about the need for municipal finance reform. We continue to see momentum and interest from legislators and leaders on this topic.
Prior to last week, the League was successful in seeing the passage of Senate Resolution 52 and House Resolution 111 by both chambers, recognizing the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Michigan Municipal League. We worked directly with a number of legislators who formerly served as municipal officials to arrange for the introduction and passage of these resolutions recognizing this important milestone.
This week, the legislature returns to action with a focus on road funding and the state budget. The Governor has expressed an interest in seeing both of these issues resolved before the end of July. Both chambers are working behind the scenes to develop alternatives to the Governor’s 45 cent gas tax proposal to advance the negotiations on road funding. Individual legislators are scheduling office hours and town hall meetings on this issue with their constituents across the state, with meetings scheduled in Westland, Farmington Hills, Troy, Clawson, Flint, Jackson, and Lansing over next couple of weeks.
We also continue to see action on our requested fix for residential speed limits. HB 4115 is scheduled for Senate committee action this week with final Senate floor action likely to follow shortly thereafter.
Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and firstname.lastname@example.org.