The Michigan Association of Timbermen
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Posted on 06.02.2014 Under Legislative

Legislative Report for MAT – Judy Augenstein, pill Legislative Consultant – June 2014

The Senate has addressed and substituted part of the House road proposal and added a few new bills to the mix. The Senate amended HB 4630, this the registration bill by adding the farm/log plate back into the bill for vehicles under 8, visit this site 000 pounds, but requires vehicles to have signage displaying name of business operating the vehicle. House Bill 5477 which repeals the current fuel taxes (19 cents a gallon on gas and 15 cents a gallon on diesel) was changed to a 6 percent tax by the House, but the Senate added a gradual increase on 9.5 percent beginning January 1, 2015 to 13.5 percent beginning January 1, 2017, and beginning January 1, 2018, the rate would increase to 15.5 percent.

Senate Bill 6 was added and designates 18% of the 4% tax collected on motor fuel to be earmarked for transportation funding. Senate Bill 149 allows monies collected from the sales tax to be credited to the Michigan Transportation fund. The bills to increase permit fees for overweight trucks to $500, HB 5452, and legislation to double fines for overweight and over-sized vehicles, HB 5453 remain in the Senate Infrastructure and Modernization Committee for further debate.

The DNR budget conference committee has not yet scheduled a meeting to iron out the differences between the House and Senate bills. Representative Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) has informed me that at least a portion of the $4 million for fire protection will be restored. Senator Mike Green (R-Mayville) reported the Senate bill with the $4 million intact, the House deleted the provision at the request of Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall).

The reciprocity agreement between Michigan and Wisconsin appears to be resolved administratively similar to the former agreement. Governor Walker (R-Wisconsin) signed legislation to increase the Wisconsin weight limit from 90,000 to 98,000 so we had to revisit the Wisconsin side of the reciprocity agreement with Michigan. Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) will still introduce a bill to keep them “honest.”

Work on the slasher issue continues. If Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) and Rep. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) cannot work out the concerns the MSP have with hauling a slasher down the road without air brakes, another bill may have to be introduced to solve the problem. Slasher “3” will most likely define a “slasher” and state clearly it is NOT a motorized vehicle making it clear that the MSP have no jurisdiction over a slasher. Senator Casperson is so annoyed with the situation he is willing to take the issue directly to Governor Rick Snyder.

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