Michigan House panel approves cutting local road funding red tape

February 28, 2022

Keith Goble


A bill package moving through the Michigan statehouse intended to maximize federal funding for local roads continues to move forward.

The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously early this month to advance a two-bill package to help reduce road funding red tape. The Senate has already approved the bills.

The lead bill, SB465, would allow local road agencies to participate in a federal aid swap with the state to reduce overall repair costs.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, local road agencies see an estimated 20-30% cost increase by meeting federal standards, such as bidding and reporting. However, the state DOT estimates a 10-15% cost increase to comply with federal requirements.

The disparity is attributed to state operations that are more suited to handle the administrative federal requirements than smaller municipalities.

“The state is in a good position to help local agencies focus more funds on fixing roads instead of devoting precious resources complying with burdensome federal administrative requirements,” Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, said in a recent news release.

Advocates add that the state has much more experience dealing with the federal rules and can more easily meet the requirements at minimal costs.

The second bill, SB466, would use state funds to replace the federal dollars directed to MDOT under SB465.

Both bills have moved to the House floor. LL

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