Senate passes comprehensive road solution

Sen. Jim Marleau

Sen. Jim Marleau

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday passed an eight-bill road funding package that would ensure a long-term funding solution for Michigan’s roads and bridges in order to repair, maintain and improve the state’s crumbling infrastructure, said state Sen. Jim Marleau.

“This Senate Republican plan, called Fixing MI Roads, addresses our huge road-funding problem with a simple, straight-forward approach,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Michiganders have wanted us to tackle the problem of our crumbling roads and bridges, and we have come up with a responsible, long-term solution.”

The initiative proposes a combination of new revenue and reprioritizing existing state resources, which would ensure the necessary funding for Michigan’s transportation problem.

New revenue would come from a gas and diesel tax increase that would be phased in, and implementing a road use fairness system where hybrid and electric vehicle registration would increase. The plan would also implement a fee schedule and additional taxes on alternative fuels.

The increases to the gas and diesel tax would be phased in over a three-year period with successive increases of four cents in years one and two, and seven cents in year three. On Jan. 1, 2017, the tax would top off at 34 cents per gallon.

Fixing MI Roads would also guarantee that $700 million of income tax revenue annually is used for transportation purposes before it reaches the General Fund budget.

The plan would instill a competitive bidding program for contractors, ensure that townships could take a more active role in future road projects, and require a future assessment and evaluation of the current system by sunsetting all gas taxes in 2033.

For more information on the proposal, visit www.FixingMiRoads.com.

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

Marleau: Perfect time to visit festivals and farmers markets

Sen. Jim Marleau

Sen. Jim Marleau

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Marleau on Thursday reminded Oakland County residents and all Michiganders to get out and enjoy Pure Michigan now that festivals and farmers markets are in full swing.

“Michigan ranks second only to California in agricultural diversity, and we are fourth in the nation in the number of farmers markets, at more than 330,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “In addition, a wide array of festivals put on by local community organizations and businesses highlight Michigan’s unique cultural experiences.

“Throughout the summer and into the fall, residents and tourists alike will be blessed by the best that Pure Michigan has to offer.”

Marleau said that constituents can find a “Farmers Market 2015 Guide” and a “2015 Michigan Festival Guide” on his website. The farmers market guide includes a directory specific to Oakland County, while the festival guide lists festivals throughout the state.

Residents can also contact Marleau’s office at 517-373-2417 or by email at jimmarleau@senate.michigan.gov, and the senator will be happy to provide copies of the guides.

“Our farmers markets and festivals offer a staggering variety of food and nursery products and experiences to delight folks of all ages,” Marleau said. “I look forward to visiting many of them this summer.”

For more information about farmers markets throughout the state, including locations outside of Oakland County, visit www.michiganfarmfun.com or www.michigan.org/things-to-do/shopping/farm-markets.