LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation allowing counties to absorb their county road commissions, bringing greater accountability and efficiency to local government.
House Bills 5125 and 5126, sponsored by state Reps. Jon Switalski and Dale Zorn, respectively, allow county boards of commissioners to dissolve appointed road commissions, or to ask voters for dissolution of elected road commissions. The method of dissolution depends on whether the road commission originally was created by a resolution or a public vote. The boards of commissioners then would assume the road agency duties.
It is a measure Snyder proposed in his October special message on infrastructure.
“I appreciate the Legislature’s support in seeking effective delivery of county services and savings for local government,” Snyder said. “We must modernize the way we administer transportation programs and do business in a streamlined, transparent manner.”
Michigan is the only state that has county road commissions. Created more than 100 years ago, when the state’s roads were unpaved and automobiles were in their infancy, the commission system has outlived its usefulness.
Michigan has 81 county road commissions and nearly half of them are not accountable to the rest of county government. Currently, only the largest counties are allowed to incorporate their county road commissions into their general government. Macomb and Wayne counties already have done so.
The bills now are Public Acts 14 and 15 of 2012.
Detailed information on the bills is available at www.legislature.mi.gov.