Senate committee considers Knollenberg bill to protect local road funding

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Sen. Marty Knollenberg

Sen. Marty Knollenberg

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Committee on Transportation on Thursday took testimony on legislation that would assist cities and villages with road repairs by removing a requirement forcing localities to use their already limited funds to reimburse the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for road projects within their limits.

“Fixing roads cannot wait,” said bill sponsor Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy. “Without this measure, local road projects will be delayed, and that is simply unacceptable.”

Under the current road-funding structure in the state, the State Trunkline Fund receives 39.1 percent of road funding, county road commissions divide 39.1 percent, and cities and villages divide the remaining 21.8 percent.

Cities and villages are then required to return a portion of their 21.8 percent to MDOT when State Trunkline projects fall within city or village limits, despite receiving little over half as much funding as MDOT. Knollenberg’s bill, Senate Bill 557, would eliminate this requirement.

“Our roads must be fixed now and in a way that doesn’t pick winners and losers,” Knollenberg said. “MDOT already receives nearly twice as much as locals do under current law. Cities and villages shouldn’t have to delay their own road projects or decrease services so MDOT can receive a rebate.”

SB 557 will remain in the Committee on Transportation for further testimony and review.

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