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Media Advisory

Local Officials Urge Lawmakers to Increase Investment in Michigan Roads

Without Additional Revenue, State Forgoes Road Safety and Billions in Federal Match Dollars

WHAT: 
Local leaders and transportation experts will urge lawmakers to pass a FY 2010-11 budget that increases investment in Michigan roads.

WHO:
National transportation experts and hundreds of local mayors, city managers, village presidents, township    supervisors and other community officials.

WHEN:  
Wednesday, April 14, 11:30 - 11:50 am

WHERE: 
Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI.
Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference
Expo Hall A (off the main corridor)

WHY:     
To restore funding for local road and bridge projects and to secure billions in federal match dollars for Michigan’s transportation system.

MORE:   
Michigan’s transportation revenues have declined every year since 2004. This year, community leaders face a 3-percent cut.  MDOT is expecting to leave $500,000,000 on the table in Washington because it can’t match all available revenue. For more on legislative action surrounding the MDOT budget and why communities are urging lawmakers to take action, visit the League’s Inside 208 blog.  

The following workshops are free of charge to media representatives, April 14 at the League’s Capital Conference. Please RSVP to Matt Bach by 9 am, April 14. TV and still photo journalists are welcome in the session, but we do ask that no images be taken of individuals requesting anonymity.

  • You complete my streets, April 14, 10:15-11:30 am: How can we build new roads that support motorists, bicyclists, transit systems, walkers, seniors and the handicapped without breaking the bank? Find the answers by learning about Michigan's Complete Streets movement and project planning that incorporates all forms of transportation as a way to build desirable communities.  Speakers: Dan Burden, executive director, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, Inc.; Karen Kafantaris, associate state director, AARP; State Rep. Jon Switalski (D-Warren); Jessica Yorko, Councilmember, Lansing.

  • Let’s talk transportation, April 14, Noon-1:15 pm: A new federal bill will help communities that collaborate afford regional high-speed rail and other transit projects. The Sustainable Communities Partnership, supported by USDOT, HUD and EPA, represents a shift in how federal agencies view transportation as it relates to land use, housing, community development and the environment. See how this shift in policy will impact communities and transportation funding into the future. Speaker: John Robert Smith, CEO and president, Reconnecting America.

  • What’s up with our roads? And what’s going on with all that stimulus money? April 14, 1:30 - 2:45 pm: Experts will discuss accomplishments following the 2009 Transportation Funding Task Force report as well as the status of existing federal stimulus projects, reauthorization of the federal road funding law (SAFTEA-LU), the prospect of a second stimulus proposal, and a U.S. House of Reps. proposal to exempt Michigan from its federal match requirement. Speakers:  John Robert Smith, CEO and president, Reconnecting America; MDOT official; House Fiscal analyst.

About the MML
The Michigan Municipal League proactively represents municipalities to help them sustain highly livable, desirable and unique places within the state. Founded in 1899, the League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich. For more information on MML, please visit mml.org.

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