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MacDonald bill to maximize local road funding approved by Senate

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s legislation to help reduce costs to local governments for federal road funding requirements.

“This reform is designed to help our local road agencies maximize the road funding they receive by cutting the amount of needless red tape they encounter,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “Allowing local agencies to swap federal funds for state dollars — and avoid the burdensome requirements that come with the federal dollars — can help our locals save over 20% in unnecessary costs and most effectively use their resources to improve local roads.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) estimates local road agencies see a cost increase of between 20% to 30% from meeting federal standards, such as bidding requirements and reporting.

“State officials have much more experience dealing with the federal rules and are better equipped to meet the additional requirements at a minimal cost,” MacDonald said.

Senate Bill 465, sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, would create a program to allow local road agencies to swap some of their federal funds with MDOT in exchange for state funds.

MacDonald’s bill, SB 466, would allow for the use of state funds to replace the federal dollars as outlined in SB 465.

The bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.