State Rep. Mike Mueller, of Linden, today introduced legislation as part of a bipartisan proposal to give local governments more flexibility in funding road repairs.
The bills, which are separate from ongoing budget negotiations, will alter state regulations in key areas to give communities a better opportunity to work on roads from driveway to highway.
Rep. Mueller’s plan, House Bill 4967, eliminates MDOT prequalification limitations for sub-contractors hired for landscaping, seeding, sodding or stone work for projects under $10 million. Projects above $10 million would still require contractor prequalification.
Other measures in the legislative package include car registration reform, asset management planning and bridge work collaboration.
“We’re cutting red tape to ensure smaller projects involving basic improvements get done faster,” Mueller said. “Job providers will be able to take on more projects without having to jump through hoops, allowing them to expand to hire more employees.”
The bipartisan proposals were created after a series of town halls were held throughout the state to discuss Michigan roads. Mueller hosted one in Fenton Township in June along with Rep. Jack O’Malley, chair of the House Transportation Committee. Residents, local officials and construction representatives all offered thoughts on how roads can be built better and smarter. Mueller said that input was instrumental in pursuing meaningful reform.
“I believe in listening to experts and local residents about how we can better serve them,” Mueller said. “This plan reflects and responds to their needs and we couldn’t have formed it without their input. This is a meaningful commitment to Michigan’s infrastructure centered on the idea of spending smarter to make dollars go further and roads last longer.”
The legislation has been referred to the House Transportation Committee for consideration.