(AMN) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her 800th bipartisan bill since the start of her term. House Bill 5286 will better protect Michigan’s construction workers as we fix the damn roads. The Governor also signed Senate Bills 465 and 466 providing more road funding to local agencies and Senate Bill 618 which adjusts interest rates for qualified school bond loans, saving schools money.
“Today, I will be signing four bills, including my 800th bipartisan bill,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Since I took office, I have been focused on getting things done and I will work with anyone to deliver on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michiganders. Today, 800 bipartisan bills later, I am proud of the work that the Michigan Legislature and I have collaborated on. Together, gotten a lot done. We have continued fixing our roads and bridges, empowered Michigan’s economic development, lowered costs with auto insurance reform, helped hundreds of thousands of Michiganders through historic criminal justice reform, and so much more. I look forward to the work ahead as we continue focusing on our shared challenges and putting Michiganders first.”
Protecting Michigan’s Construction Workers
House Bill 5286 amends the Michigan Vehicle code to empower Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), a county road commission, or a local road authority to implement traffic control measures and a digital message board displaying the speed limit required when workers are present to improve safety of construction workers.
“This bill will ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our workers safe as they work to fix our roads,” said Rep. Mark Huizinga, R – Walker. “Having drivers reduce their speed when workers are present can decrease the likelihood of a tragic accident, but sometimes drivers don’t see the road crews until they are too close. By allowing for these modified signs, we can inform drivers about the presence of workers so they can follow the law and protect lives.”
“Keeping our members safe while on the job is our top priority” said Geno Alessandrini, business manager for the Michigan Laborers District Council. “House Bill 5286 takes important steps to reduce drivers speed where our workers are repairing Michigan roads. This keeps both workers and drivers safe.”
“We appreciate Governor Whitmer’s commitment to fixing the roads and making sure our workers are safe while doing so,” said Douglas W. Stockwell, Operating Engineers Local 324 Business Manager/General Vice President. “House Bill 5286 will help improve worker safety as we work together to rebuild Michigan’s infrastructure.”
HB 5286 was sponsored by Rep. Mark Huizinga, R – Walker, and a copy can be found here.
Saving Local Road Agencies Money
Together, Senate Bills 465 and 466 require the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), under certain conditions, to award money from the State Trunkline Fund to local road agencies, allowing local road agencies to construct projects with less expense while meeting federal requirements. The bill would also require that MDOT make specific state trunkline fund monies available for the local federal aid exchange program. The amounts for each state fiscal year (FY) are as follows:
• FY 2022-23: $25.0 million.
• FY 2023-24: $35.0 million.
• FY 2024-25 and each subsequent fiscal year: $45.0 million.
“By giving our local transportation agencies more flexibility to cut their costs, we can help them fix more of our local roads and make a real difference in the lives of our hardworking taxpayers and families,” said Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake. “The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency has estimated that these reforms could save local governments up to 30% each year in reduced compliance and overhead costs. Just imagine how many more miles of local roads could be fixed throughout our state with that amount of savings. It’s a game-changer.”
SB 465 was sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad, R – White Lake, and a copy can be found here.
“Senate Bill 466 is another step in helping to ensure we maximize our infrastructure funding potential and ensure we have the ability to fix our roads,” said Sen. Michael MacDonald, R – Sterling Heights. “I am proud of this bipartisan legislation, and look forward to continuing to work towards creating a better Michigan for all citizens.”
SB 466 was sponsored by Sen. Michael MacDonald, R – Sterling Heights, and a copy can be found here.
Saving Schools Money
Senate Bill 618 adjusts the School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) interest rate. The SLRF is a self-sustaining fund assisting school districts with making debt service payments on state qualified bonds issued under the School Bond Qualification and Loan Program. Senate Bill 618 will set the new floor rate at the average annual cost of funds used by the state to make qualified loans, resulting in significant savings for schools immediately.
“I am glad to see Senate Bill 618 signed into law today,” said Sen. Roger Victory, R – Hudsonville.“This proactive and responsible measure will generate significant savings for our local schools and the taxpayers who support them. In this challenging and ever-changing economic climate, it is important that we make fiscally responsible decisions that benefit our local communities now and well into the future.”
SB 618 was sponsored by Sen. Roger Victory, R – Hudsonville, and a copy can be found here.