Crawford

Crawford

Cox

Cox

Seven county commissioners will soon move their public service from the courthouse to the Statehouse, thanks to decisions of Michigan voters Tuesday night.

The representatives-elect are:

Grand Traverse County Commissioner Larry Inman will represent the 104th District.

Inman

Inman

Iden

Iden

Kalamazoo County Commissioner Dave Maturen will represent the 63rd District.

Kalamazoo County Commissioner Brandt Iden will represent the 61st District.

Monroe County Commissioner Jason M. Sheppard will represent the 56th District.

Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad will represent the 44th District.

Runestad

Runestad

Maturen

Maturen

Oakland County Commissioner Kathy Crawford will represent the 38th District.

Wayne County Commissioner Laura Cox will represent the 19th District.

All seven will serve in the now-enlarged ranks of the Republican caucus in the Michigan House of Representatives. MAC looks forward to working with them on key state policy issues affecting counties,

Sheppard

Sheppard

ranging from unfunded mandates to sentencing guidelines to transportation reform.

transport funds 10-17-14The conventional wisdom in political circles is that a significant increase in transportation funding will be a heavy lift in the upcoming “lame duck” session of the Legislature after the November elections. That CW might explain why, in the words of this slide in August from the House Fiscal Agency, transportation funding has been “relatively flat” since the late 1990s. Meanwhile … “The average Michigander pays $357 annually in unnecessary repairs to their vehicles due to poor roads.” MAC’s position: An additional penny on the state sales tax, dedicated to transportation, is the best way to improve roads.

stream imageIn the October edition of Michigan Counties, the “Ask the Expert” feature focused on the definition of “Waters of the United States” and how it is important for counties to give their views during the comment period on the federal Clean Water Act by Oct. 20, 2014.

Good news. As just reported here by the National Association of Counties, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to extend the comment period to Nov. 14, 2014.

The House Commerce Committee took testimony Wednesday on House Bill 5856 that would revamp state law on downtown development authorities — revamp, but not reform, argued MAC’s Deena Bosworth to committee members. According to the MIRS News Service (paywall protected) Bosworth “… said the bill ‘falls far short of what we consider real reform.’ “Bosworth argued the continued idea that TIF districts can capture county tax dollars without any say from the counties is ‘fundamentally unfair.’
Bosworth

Bosworth

“‘The proponents of downtown development authorities anywhere and everywhere across the state will tell you that that increased revenue would not be there if wasn’t for their efforts,’ Bosworth told the committee. ‘I happen to disagree.’ “Bosworth used the example of a Home Depot being built outside a true downtown through a DDA. Westland apparently used its DDA dollars to build a city hall, she said. “‘County revenue for municipal infrastructure projects, I don’t think that was the intention,’ Bosworth said. “Over the last 10 years, Oakland County has had $70 million in tax revenue captured. “‘Oakland County wants to have a say in how long they’re there, what projects are done and what county revenue is being captured for what purposes,’ Bosworth said. “Bosworth also told the committee that MAC had been promised ‘significant reforms.'”

calculator imageThe Legislature’s refusal to fund new investments in infrastructure has cost Michigan taxpayers more than $270 million since June 12 of this year, says a coalition committed to road funding reform.

The Just Fix the Roads Coalition unveiled a calculator widget that shows how much inaction has cost residents.

“’As each day passes, that figure climbs by $2.7 million, or $1 billion per year. Faced with that cost of delay, Michigan’s legislators must find a way to invest at least $2 billion more annually on roads, or the public will continue to bear the brunt of their inaction. As legislators continue to put off road funding, the cost of repairs will escalate even further. It is a major funding dilemma that will only get worse over time,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, a member of the coalition, along with MAC and many others.

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