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Lighting authority bills pass Senate

Staff report

DETROIT — The Michigan Senate passed legislation Dec. 4 that would allow for the creation of a Detroit Lighting Authority (DLA). The main bill passed 25-13 after it was revised to allow the city to retain more local control.

The legislation will now go to the House for an up or down vote before going to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for approval.

Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit, is the principal sponsor of the three-bill package.

“We are finally moving forward as a region and a state by taking this step toward the creation of an RTA,” Johnson said in a statement available on his Web site. “After decades of stalled attempts, characterized by bitter partisanship and territorial disputes, I am pleased to say we are closer than ever to achieving the goal of building a functional mass transit system, competing for federal transit dollars and bringing southeastern Michigan into the 21st century.”

The DLA would turn Detroit’s lighting department into a public authority.

Johnson also said the RTA will be a “catalyst for job creation, private investment and economic growth.” He hopes the legislation will be signed by year’s end.

Mayor Dave Bing was also “extremely pleased” with the vote.

“Pending final approval in the State House and the governor’s signature, we will be able to move forward with solving a generations-old lighting problem that hinders public safety and quality of life for the citizens of Detroit,” Bing said in a statement. “Additionally, one of the bills in the package would eliminate the rollback of Detroit income taxes — a move that will protect the city from a further decline in revenue.”

 

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