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Serving the people of Macomb County is very important to me, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issue. You may email SenMMacDonald@senate.michigan.gov or call toll-free at 1-866-303-0110. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

Michael D. MacDonald
State Senator

 

Bills would maximize road funding

This week, I introduced legislation to reduce local road funding red tape as part of a 10-bill road policy reform package.

Federal transportation funds come with burdensome administrative requirements that can cost local road agencies a substantial amount of time and money. However, the state can meet these demands at a much lower cost to taxpayers. By having the state handle all federal transportation funds, we can maximize our road funding and allow local agencies to focus more of their resources on fixing the roads.

Senate Bill 518, sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad, would require all federal funds received by the state to be spent at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), except funds specifically allocated at the federal level for local jurisdictions or funds allocated to local jurisdictions through a competitive process.

My bill, SB 519, would use state funds to replace the federal dollars directed to MDOT under SB 518 — directing funds from the State Trunkline Fund to counties, cities, and villages.

MDOT estimates that local road agencies see an estimated 20% to 30% cost increase by meeting federal standards, such as bidding requirements and reporting.

The Senate Republican road policy reforms would also:
      • Have the state increase transparency about individual road projects;
      • Improve our current road warranty program to provide better value;
      • Require MDOT to study the feasibility of tolls on Michigan bridges or roadways;
      • Establish a local road agency advocate to assist with developing plans to comply with federal and state requirements and permitting;
      • Improve collaboration between the state and local roads agencies by extending local asset management horizons and ensuring MDOT continues to supply long-range plans;
      • Require MDOT to develop a road construction inflation index to measure changes in cost within the highway construction industry annually;
      • Take steps to stop abuse of farming and logging vehicle registrations; and
      • Require local units of government, when adding new roads to their system or planning new infrastructure, to include how maintenance will be paid for.

“This is a road policy reform package aimed at maximizing road funding efficiency,” said Sen. Tom Barrett, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “These reforms resulted from several workgroup meetings this summer and are about improving policies so that local and state agencies can better meet our road infrastructure needs.”

 

Recap of tele-town hall

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I recently spoke with Bill Ballenger about the tele-town hall I recently hosted. I was pleased to connect with 1,200 residents during the tele-town hall meeting last month.

The best thing about using this tele-town hall technology is that it provides a forum to talk with thousands of families and job providers about what we are doing to improve our state and to hear from them about their goals and concerns.

 

Update on Michigan Launch Initiative

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I was also pleased to give an update of what is happening with the Michigan Launch Initiative. Earlier this month, I participated in the second annual space symposium to learn about how Michigan can continue to diversify its economy and create new jobs within the aerospace industry.

There a lot of great opportunities for Macomb and the state that will launch us into continued prosperity.

Retired Judge Davis supports opioid education

Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our state and nationwide. According to the state, more people died in Michigan in 2017 from drug overdoses than from car crashes — and nearly 2,000 of the overdoses were from opioids.

Retired 41B District Court Judge Linda Davis recently spoke before the Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee — on which I serve — in support of Sen. Peter J. Lucido’s bill to require the state to develop or adopt educational materials to inform youth athletes about the dangers of opioids. Many teenagers are prescribed opioid medications to deal with pain from sports injuries. It is critical that they understand the risks and possible alternatives to taking these addictive drugs

Judge Davis retired from the bench last March and serves as the executive director of Families Against Narcotics — a nonprofit, antidrug organization she co-founded.

I introduced legislation in June to ensure all Michigan high school students learn about the dangers of prescription opioid abuse by utilizing a video developed by her organization. Senate Bill 386 would require the state to develop or adopt an instructional video regarding the dangers of prescription opioid drug abuse that is appropriate for ninth-grade students and make the video available to all public schools that have ninth grade.

Constitution Day is Sept. 17

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Every year, we celebrate Sept. 17 as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 1787.

Our Constitution has been called “the most influential legal document in existence.” I am pleased to offer a small booklet on my website that contains the text of the U.S. Constitution with all amendments as well as the Declaration of Independence.

Please contact my office if you would like a copy for your home or office or download it as a PDF by clicking here. Information on the history and meaning of our country’s founding documents — the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (known together as the Charters of Freedom) — is available from the National Archives at www.archives.gov/founding-docs.

 

Final highway cleanup

Please be on alert Sept. 21-29 as volunteer groups comb Michigan roadways statewide to remove litter and trash as part of the last cleanup of the 2019 Adopt-A-Highway pickup program.

Three times a year, volunteer crews collect debris to help keep the state’s highway roadsides clean, attractive and safe. Since 1990, these volunteers have collected more than one million bags of trash! Sections of highway are still available to adopt. Find more information at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

 

Never forgotten

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This year, National POW/MIA Recognition Day will be observed on Friday, Sept. 20.

The annual event is an important way to recognize the servicemen and women who remain missing from past wars and conflicts and those whose remains have not been recovered. Nearly 50 Michigan residents remain missing and unaccounted-for in wartime.

Click here for more information, including a gallery of POW/MIA posters for 2019 and prior years.

 

Michigan's 10th Senate District

The 10th District includes the city of Sterling Heights, Macomb Township and most of Clinton Township.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the State Senate. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 10th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.


 
Senator Michael D. MacDonald
4200 Connie Binsfeld Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

 
Visit my website at: SenatorMichaelMacDonald.com