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Important update, Supporter,

The State Senate will vote TOMORROW on funding of Michigan transportation!

Please take action NOW to support funding of buses, trails, and our complete transportation system!

As I shared yesterday, the legislature is trying to come up with a fix to Michigan's transportation funding crisis. Unfortunately, the House-passed package takes money from other important priorities and completely leaves out bus and rail funding!

This afternoon, the Senate majority Republicans passed through committee an alternative that is far better but still not great (more details below). The full Senate is expected to vote on it TOMORROW, July 1. 

We've got one more chance to convince them that transit matters!! Once they start compromising with the House, the bill will only get worse.

Please email your Senator today!

It would also be great to call Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof at 517-373-6920 to urge him to strengthen their bill! The Senate should:

1. Fund our complete transportation system, including buses, trains, ports, and trails, with their entire funding package!

2. Provide sustainable, dedicated funding that doesn't gut other important funding priorities like the Earned Income Tax Credit.  

3. Raise enough revenue to meet our full transportation needs.

Take Action Today!  

We've made it very quick and easy. Our action alert system provides you a sample email message which you can edit with your own words. Using your address and zip code, it will identify your State Senator and their email address. Sign your name to it, your message is sent and your voice will be heard! We'll even copy your message to Governor Snyder and the Senate Majority Leader, who also need to hear this important message. 

Please urge your friends and family to do the same, because the legislature needs to hear a lot of voices from all across Michigan to be convinced to do the right thing!

While the details are still coming out, Senate Republicans developed an alternative package today (June 30) and voted it out of committee on party lines. To the best of our understanding, the Senate package would:

 - Raise the gas tax by 15-cents over three years,

 - Raise the diesel tax to match the gas tax,

 - Provide 10% of new gas and diesel tax revenue to transit, trails, trains, and ports,

 - Increase hybrid and electric vehicle fees,

 - Eliminate the state's Earned Income Tax Credit that currently supports low-income working families,

 - Allocate $700 million in existing income tax revenue to roads (only), and

 - Require an income tax roll-back if state revenue growth exceeds inflation.

The good news - once fully implemented, it would provide around $80 million more a year for non-road transportation needs, including potentially $10 million a year more each to SMART and to DDOT to improve their bus service!

(Note - these are VERY rough back-of-the-envelope calculations, not official analysis or guarantees!!!!!!)

The bad news - that is just 5% of the total new revenue. Plus it would take money away from other important parts of the state budget. They can and must do better!!

The full Senate is expected to vote on it tomorrow, July 1, so please take action today! 

Thanks!

Megan

PS - You are subscribed to Transportation Riders United's email list. TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, working since 1999 to improve bus service, remove barriers to rapid transit, and advocate for smart transportation investments

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