On Thursday, the House Transportation Committee, under the leadership of Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor), will convene three weeks of hearings to determine whether Michigan needs a gas tax increase to fix the state’s deteriorating road, bridge and transit systems.
The hearings culminate a year-long statewide effort by the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT), which has included statewide road and bridge condition reports, public opinion surveys and focus groups, a Web site, postcards to legislators and most recently a radio and billboard advertising campaign.
The overall message of the transportation funding campaign, known as DriveMI, has been “Don’t Forget Our Roads.” The point of the campaign is to remind legislators that there is more work to be done besides the budget and Single Business Tax replacement during this session.
“Legislators are taking our transportation crisis message seriously and we are looking forward to stating our case and providing funding options during the committee hearings,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and co-chair of MTT. “We appreciate this great opportunity for legislators to hear from a variety of statewide organizations that ultimately represent the public’s need for a safe and fully funded transportation system.”
The testimony is scheduled as follows at 10 a.m. in the House Office Building on Ottawa in Lansing:
• March 22, 2007 – Michigan Department of Transportation, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, County Road Association of Michigan and Michigan Municipal League.
• March 29, 2007 – Michigan Transit Association, organized labor organizations and Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
• April 12, 2007 – Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association.
MTT is a broad-based, bi-partisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens linked with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The Drive MI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan.