Road Funding and Internet Safety
Monday, January 26, 2009
by John Pappageorge
13th Senate District
Road Fund Distribution
Despite having the largest road system in Michigan after the state trunk line system, with 1,100 more miles than either Wayne or Macomb counties, Oakland County ranks 71 out of the state’s 83 counties in road funding.
Current distribution is based on a formula that fails to consider how heavily or lightly roads are traveled. This does not make sense. That’s why I will continue to fight to make the allocation of Michigan Transportation Fund dollars more equitable.
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that under the current distribution system Oakland County receives $89.99 per person compared to Keweenaw County’s $569.91 per person. As a result, a lightly traveled rural two-lane road in the Upper Peninsula is treated equal to a heavily used multiple-lane road in Royal Oak.
I am working on legislation to change the way the Michigan Department of Transportation distributes road funding. If approved, my bill would change the distribution from being based on total mileage to “annual vehicle miles traveled” as determined by the Federal Highway Administration.
With an estimated 35 million children from kindergarten through the 12th grade accessing the Internet, it is more important than ever to enact measures protecting kids from online predators.
Unfortunately, it is an unpleasant truth that criminals such as sex offenders can use the Internet to manipulate and lure children into dangerous situations. FBI statistics indicate that your child has a 100 percent chance of meeting a predator in a chat room. With every 1 in 4 kids participating in real-time chat, it is critical that they learn how to use the Internet safely.
Currently, I am working on legislation to help teach our schoolchildren about Internet safety. A bill I sponsored would require the state superintendent of public instruction to either develop or adopt a program designed to teach Internet safety to children at the appropriate grade level. The programs would be made available to all public and nonpublic schools, and parents.
For information on what you can do to ensure your children are protected, visit www.enough.org. I look forward to working on this crucial piece of legislation with my colleagues and seeing the governor sign it into law.
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