LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Marty Knollenberg was recently recognized by the Michigan Municipal League as one of their 2017 Legislators of the Year.

The annual award is given to legislators on behalf of their work and leadership on issues critical to Michigan’s many municipalities.

“It is an honor, and really quite humbling to be recognized by the folks you were trying to help,” said Knollenberg, R-Troy. “Strong local governments are an essential part of government. They are the ones who are most familiar with the populace and with local issues. They are also a great asset to legislators. I am proud to have a very good relationship with the municipal leaders in my district.”

Knollenberg was recognized for his lead on legislation that eliminated a majority of the local cost sharing requirements for Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects. Under the state’s previous road funding structure, the State Trunk line Fund received 39.1 percent, county road commissions divide 39.1 percent, and cities and villages divide the remaining 21.8 percent.

The issue, however, was that cities and villages were then required to return a portion of their 21.8 percent to MDOT when state trunk line projects fall within their city’s limits.

Senate Bill 1068, which was approved by Gov. Snyder in December, eliminated this requirement, saving the cities of Troy, Madison Heights and Royal Oak nearly $20 million, and millions more for other communities across the state.

“This seemed like a common sense issue that needed to be addressed,” Knollenberg said. “A major state department with significantly greater funding should not be dipping their hands in community budgets. Our local governments weren’t being treated fairly under the system and something needed to be done.”

Knollenberg was honored along with six other officials during the Michigan Municipal League’s annual Awards Gala that took place Tuesday, March 21 during the League’s annual Capital Conference.

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Photo caption: Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, received the 2017 Legislator of the Year Award from the Michigan Municipal League for his work on Senate Bill 1068. The bill, which has since been signed by Gov. Snyder, eliminated a state law requiring local governments to return some of their road funding money to the Michigan Department of Transportation if a major road project fell within the city’s limits.