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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of February 2, 2017

By Judy Augenstein

Senator James Stamas, R-MIdland and Senator Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake have both stated they will be running for the position of Senate Majority Leader in two years as the current Senate leader will be termed out. Only two years remain in the current 4 year Senate term then some 26 senators will be term limited.   Both Stamas and Shirkey hail from solid GOP districts.  Democrats would have to flip some 8 a 9 seats to take over the majority in the Senate.

One of Governor Rick Snyder's goals to complete before the end of his term is to open PA 51, which outlines Michigan's funding formula for roads.  The formula under PA 51 of 1951 sends 39.1 percent to county road agencies, 21.8 percent to city and village road agencies and has been a target of Governor Snyder since his first year as governor.  Snyder wants the funding formula to reflect how roads are used, taking into account key commerce corridors, not by jurisdictions.

Transportation Department Director, Kirk Steudle, this week, stated it is time to open PA 51.  Steudle contends the formula has to be approached in a "rational" way to distribute the monies.  That the funding has to be based on what can be accomplished and not distributed by jurisdiction.  Steudle floated a a proposal to the GOP led Senate last session, but that plan fell short and failed.

This week, we continued to work with Triston  Cole, R-Mancelona on legislation he is preparing on our behalf.  The purpose of the bill is to creates a multiple use permit tailored after Wisconsin's permit.

Next week, I will be hosting a lunch meeting with Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet and     Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville, Dem VC, House Transportation Committee, to discuss transportation  issues we plan to put before the committee this year.

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