A bill that would provide authorization for the state to spend the federal stimulus transportation money passed the Michigan House this week by a vote of 109-1.
MDOT has requested that the appropriations bill be approved by the legislature no later than April 2 so that the first letting can take place the following day. According to the new law, 50 percent of the funds must be obligated within 120 days (June 28th). If approval is reached within that timeline, construction is expected to begin by the end of April.
There was some initial concern that the bill would be slowed in the Senate over concerns with a lack of stimulus projects in west Michigan. MITA has been working with both MDOT and Senate leadership to help facilitate an agreement. It appears that the sides are are working well together and that the legislation should be approved shortly.
According to the stimulus package, state trunkline and road and bridge funding make up the largest share of the spending, $635 million. Local road and bridge construction would receive $211.8 million.
If members have relationships with existing senators, MITA would encourage you to contact them in the next week to ask them to support the transportation supplemental budget, HB 4582.
Please contact Mike Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or Keith Ledbetter at email@example.com or call the MITA office at 517-347-8336 with any questions or comments.