In a recent Legislative bulletin MITA reported that the Michigan House of Representatives had passed a “reverse-supplemental” that would take $10 million from the State Transportation Budget and transfer it to the Michigan Department of State (Secretary of State). The article also discussed the fact that the proposed 2005-2006 MDOT budget includes nearly $45 million in inter-departmental grants, which is money that is being transferred out of the State Transportation Budget to various departments including the Secretary of State, Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Treasury.
MITA has been focusing its lobbying efforts on highlighting the fact that although Michigan’s roads continue to deteriorate, the Michigan legislature continues to transfer these much needed dollars to other state departments in order to keep a balanced budget.
One way that you can help us in our effort to stop this “highway robbery” is to write a letter to the editor of newspapers in your area around the state. Included with this bulletin you will find a number of examples for you to use. All that is needed on your part is for you to put your name at the bottom of any one of these examples and forward it to your local newspaper. E-mail addresses or web addresses of several large newspapers from around the state are also included with this bulletin.
We would encourage you to either e-mail or fax your letters to the editor as soon as possible since both of these pieces of legislation, the $10 million reverse-supplemental and the 2005-2006 Transportation Budget, are being debated currently in the State Legislature. Please do not minimize the effect that these letters to the editor can have on our state’s elected officials. Do your part and engage in this “grassroots lobbying effort.”
Thank you for your participation.
Detroit Free Press E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (send text in body of e-mail) All writers must provide full name, full home address and day and evening telephone numbers. Anonymous letters, letters to third parties and letters to other publications will not be considered.
Detroit News E-mail address: email@example.com Fax: 313-222-6417
Lansing State Journal http://www.lsj.com/contactus/ltr_editor.html
Oakland Press E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (send text in body of e-mail)
Ann Arbor News Online Address: http:// www.annarbornews.com/letters.html
Bay City Times: On-line Address: http://www.bc-times.com/emaileditor
Grand Rapids Press: E-mail: email@example.com ---------------------------------------------------------------- MITA Inter-departmental Grants – Letter to the Editor Samples
Letter 1 – Response to Article (140 words)
Your recent article on the legislature’s effort to take $10 million away from roads and send it to the Secretary of State left me shaking my head. Is it any wonder why our roads and highways always seem to be sub par compared to other states?
The choice between spending what is needed to fix our roads or feeding another bureaucratic project should not be that difficult. It is obvious — to this traveler at least — that every dime dedicated to better roads is money well spent.
The fact that lawmakers felt they needed to sneak this scheme in with a bill to help organ donation proves to me that they knew it was a bad idea from the start. They should pay better attention to the roads when they drive back to their district from Lansing and reconsider this short-sighted proposal.
Letter 2 - There They Go Again (111 words)
There they go again. The Michigan House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would rob $10 million from the Michigan Transportation Funds and give it to the Secretary of State. At a time when the state is struggling with finding enough money to fix the existing roads and develop the expansions that will ease congestion, our elected officials have decided that what little resources are available would be better spent by the paper-shufflers over at the Department of State.
I’ve gotten used to not expecting a great deal from Lansing, but after battling potholes the size of dumpsters and navigating labyrinths of orange barrels, we all deserve better than this.
Letter 3 – Not So Fast (113 Words)
So let me get this straight. Transportation officials spend months identifying the most pressing projects to improve roads, find a way to provide for them in their tight budgets and even have contractors begin the job…THEN lawmakers decide to pull the rug out from under them by sending $10 million from the Michigan Transportation Fund to the Secretary of State in something called a ‘mid-year adjustment’?
Representatives in the Michigan House voted to do just that recently and now it’s up to the Senate to restore some sanity to the process. We don’t need more bureaucrats peddling red tape in Lansing. We need to fix our roads to ease commutes and attract jobs.
Letter 4 - Roads Should be a Priority (109 Words) Getting back and forth to work everyday safely and in a timely fashion is a pretty high priority for me. Apparently, taking care of the roads that allow me to do so isn’t a top priority for Lansing lawmakers. The House recently passed a bill that shifts $10 million in critical road funding to the Secretary of State. That is money that was intended to fix the potholes, repair the crumbling roads and build bridges. Do the elected officials have any plans for replacing the resources they keep stealing from roads?
The State Senate needs to show they value quality roads by putting an end to this shell game.