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2006 MITA Legislative Success

Tuesday, January 09, 2007   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nancy Brown
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Okemos -- From lobbying for increased infrastructure funding to regulatory reforms and tax relief, the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA) is proud of what it accomplished for the heavy and highway construction industry during 2006.

A recap of last year’s legislative successes:

  • Supported the “Local Jobs Today” initiative, providing the $80 million local match needed to secure an additional $320 million in federal money for projects in 2006 and 2007.
  • Created a new law to provide $40 million in grants for local communities to pay for the up-front costs required for State Revolving Fund loans. Loan applications more than tripled to almost $600 million this year.
  • Passed legislation restoring an Hours of Service exemption for intrastate truck drivers in the construction industry.
  • At the urging of MITA, Governor Granholm included significant Personal Property Tax relief in her proposed SBT replacement plan.
  • Jump-started the DRIVE MI campaign which included setting up meetings with over two dozen legislators, conducting eight focus groups around the state, completing a poll of 1,200 registered voters, publishing a web site and circulating over 10,000 Drive MI brochures to public opinion leaders promoting increased transportation funding.
  • Helped create a new law to pave the way for AT&T to invest $1 billion in infrastructure to provide video services to Michigan residents.
  • Helped fund and defeat two critical proposals on the 2006 ballot – the K-16 money grab proposal and the Stop Over Spending plan – both would have had very damaging effects on road and infrastructure funding across the state of Michigan.
  • Tallied an impressive 69-3 record of supporting winning candidates for the Legislature with MITA PAC dollars, including picking all four caucus legislative leaders for next term.
  • Protected road dollars by requiring alternative fuel tax breaks to be reimbursed from the state’s general fund.
  • Exempted construction workers from being required to get background checks before working on school property.
  • Required federal road funds which are sold by local governments to be used for originally-intended purposes rather than diverted away from road projects.
  • Capped interdepartmental grants and required Department of Treasury to justify their raids on the MTF based on actual time and effort spent collecting the gas tax.
  • Scuttled attempts to require crumb rubber to be used in asphalt mixes.
  • Opposed attempts to require a costly new county drain commission permit when construction activities cross a drain.
  • Formed a coalition to encourage greater use of available clean water funds by local units of governments.
  • Supported the replacement of the “Old Blue” Michigan license plate, bringing in an estimated $4-10 million in additional road dollars.

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