Sen. Marty Knollenberg
Sen. Marty Knollenberg

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation that would provide financial relief to local governments that have a state trunk line running through their boundaries.

“When cities aren’t forced to pay for state roads they don’t own, more local roads can be repaired without delays,” said state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, the bill’s sponsor.

All road funding in the state is governed by a 1951 law that specifies how funds are to be distributed and local involvement in funding, among other guidelines. Written into Act 51 is a requirement stating all cities and villages with a population over 25,000 must pay a portion of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) project costs for opening, widening, and improving state trunk line highways that lie within city or villages boundaries.

Senate Bill 1068 would eliminate that Act 51 requirement, providing relief to up to 45 local governments across the state.

Under the current road-funding structure in the state, the State Trunk line Fund receives 39.1 percent of road funding, county road commissions divide 39.1 percent, and cities and villages divide the remaining 21.8 percent. Cities and villages are then required to return a portion of their 21.8 percent to MDOT when state highway projects fall within their limits.

“This bill will save Madison Heights, Royal Oak, and Troy nearly $20 million for improvements to I-75 and end an unfair road funding formula that required cities to send the state a rebate check for highway repairs,” Knollenberg said.

SB 1068 will now go to Gov. Rick Snyder for consideration.