Upper Peninsula Lawmaker Jenn Hill Goes to Bat for Logging Jobs

MARQUETTE — Representative Jenn Hill introduced legislation that would make it easier for logging companies to transport materials between Michigan and Wisconsin. Legislation introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives would allow logging companies more flexibility to transport their products between Michigan and neighboring states without the burden of paperwork that’s normally required under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).

“I’m looking out for workers, and I like finding ways to make their jobs easier. Our proposed bills make sure we’re not making things harder for loggers transporting cargo in the U.P. In the state’s bureaucratic maze, things unfortunately go overlooked that make some people’s jobs unnecessarily challenging. We as lawmakers are supposed to enter that maze and ensure it makes sense to navigate,” said Representative Hill.

In a release, Rep. Hill explained that logging companies based in the U.P. frequently need to transport wood to mills located in Michigan and Wisconsin. The routes between these facilities are relatively short and do not change, making the paperwork requirements under IFTA for long-haul trucking redundant and burdensome. The IFTA was intended for trucks that deliver products and refuel in various states and locations on a regular basis.

Hill’s advocacy has gained notice from employers. “Anything promoting transportation efficiency without impacting transportation funding is something we support,” said Todd Penrose of Holli Forest Products Inc. in Ishpeming. “The current 30 air-mile reciprocity agreement for the transportation of raw forest products between Michigan and Wisconsin has allowed our company to ship products to additional markets without doing unnecessary paperwork. We are very appreciative that Rep. Hill and Rep. Prestin are working to potentially allow more small businesses in the U.P. to benefit from this agreement.”

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