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Snyder signs bills to commit dollars to infrastructure

Friday, June 29, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to reroute sales tax revenue, increasing available funds for transportation to match the FY 2013 budget.

Senate Bill 351 and House Bill 4025, sponsored by state Sen. John Proos and state Rep. Dave Agema, redirect $110 million in sales tax revenue for transportation purposes. To equal budget assumptions, $100 million goes to match federal highway dollars and $10 million goes to the State Aeronautics Fund for capital improvements.

"I'm pleased to sign legislation creating more and better investment in Michigan's roads and infrastructure," Snyder said. "This is important to our quality of life and our economic future."

The bills now are Public Acts 225 and 226 of 2012.

The governor also signed 13 other bills and vetoed another.

H.B. 5044, sponsored by state Rep. Doug Geiss, designates a portion of I-94 in Taylor as the Auxiliary Lt. Dan Kromer Memorial Highway. Kromer, a 20-year veteran of the Taylor Police Department, was killed in 2010 while assisting motorists stopped along the highway. The bill now is P.A. 227.

H.B. 5045, also sponsored by Geiss, designates a portion of U.S. 24 in Taylor as the Cpl. Matthew Edwards Memorial Highway. Edwards, a nearly six-year veteran of the Taylor Police Department, was shot and killed while responding to a burglary in 2010. The bill now is P.A. 228.

H.B. 5142, sponsored by state Rep. Mark Ouimet, allows multiple municipalities to join together to redevelop commercial corridors that are at least 30 years old to promote economic growth. The bill now is P.A. 229.

H.B. 5158, sponsored by state Rep. Anthony Forlini, allows the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and the Office of the Auditor General to audit vendors to ensure compliance with state contracts. This provides for greater transparency and accountability for public dollars. The bill now is P.A. 230.

H.B. 5228, sponsored by state Rep. Greg MacMaster, exempts vehicles other than commercial motor vehicles and those used in intrastate business from unnecessary and burdensome federal standards. The bill now is P.A. 231.

H.B. 5287, sponsored by state Rep. Marty Knollenberg, allows intermediate school districts to invest funds in bank accounts. The bill now is P.A. 232.

H.B. 5553, sponsored by state Rep. Cynthia Denby, consolidates individual, biennial agency audits into a single, annual statewide audit to meet federal guidelines and make the process more efficient. The bill now is P.A. 233.

H.B. 5609, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Huuki, specifies that an individual who sells property to an Indian tribe remains liable for delinquent property taxes, ensuring that legally assessed taxes cannot be avoided by transferring property to an exempt group. The bill now is P.A. 234.

S.B. 543, sponsored by state Sen. Jack Brandenburg, allows more than two representatives from the same military conflict to serve on county departments of veterans affairs, providing veterans greater access to services. The bill now is P.A. 235.

S.B. 871, sponsored by state Sen. Roger Kahn, contains negative $218 million supplemental appropriations for the current fiscal year, reflecting savings from caseload adjustments in the departments of Community Health and Human Services. It also includes $10 million for the Education Achievement Authority and funding for several initiatives proposed by the governor in his March Special Message on Public Safety, including $2 million for a summer employment program for teens in Flint, Detroit, Saginaw and Pontiac. The bill now is P.A. 236.

S.B. 1044, sponsored by state Sen. John Proos, allows the state to donate surplus items to nonprofit organizations or to trade items with state contractors. The bill now is P.A. 237.

S.B. 1085, sponsored by state Sen. John Moolenaar, adds a statement of legislative intent to P.A. 98 of 2011, clarifying for the court that the law provides for more "economical, nondiscriminatory, neutral, and efficient procurement of construction-related goods and services." P.A. 98 allows all contractors equal access to public construction projects, regardless of union affiliation. The bill now is P.A. 238.

S.B. 1146, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Kowall, allows citizens to operate their vehicles using historical and authentic license plates throughout the entire month of August. The bill now is P.A. 239.

In addition, the governor vetoed H.B. 4116, sponsored by state Rep. Paul Opsommer, which would have required state agencies to forward any memorandum of agreement to the attorney general before approving. While the governor supported the bill's aims of openness and transparency in government, it violates the separation of powers by directing members of the executive branch on how to gather legal analysis.