State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, today announced support for a recently unveiled plan addressing how municipalities work together to pay for and pursue desired projects.
O’Malley, chair of the House Transportation Committee, said House Bill 5229 – sponsored by state Rep. Jason Sheppard of Temperance – works in harmony with a series of bills he has been working on to give counties and local communities more tools in their toolbox for funding needed road repairs with existing resources.
“Whether it be road repair or answers to local and regional transportation issues, more options are better for Michigan citizens, drivers using the roads and decision-makers who are trying to get them fixed,” O’Malley said.
Under current law, local governments can enter into joint contracts with one another or a public agency for providing or creating services. These joint endeavors can lead to proposed millages with a majority vote deciding whether taxpayers will assist in paying for the services, but the number of millages must be under a constitutional limit.
HB 5229 clarifies that these joint plans would not count toward that limit and would open the door to additional partnerships – such as counties working with townships – for shared services.
“There is nothing more democratic than allowing a vote of the people when it comes to funding options,” O’Malley said. “But in some cases we have to work to provide that ability. Thinking creatively is a positive process that will get things accomplished, and I think this bill is a great asset for all regions of the state in terms of being able to work collectively to make things better for the people.”