Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Whitmer signs $4.7 billion bill to improve Michigan infrastructure, housing security

Whitmer signs $4.7 billion bill to improve Michigan infrastructure, housing security

March 31, 2022
Detroit Free Press
Mar. 30, 2022
Paul Egan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill in Grand Rapids on Wednesday that uses billions of dollars in federal funds to improve state drinking water, sewers, parks, roads, dams and internet service, while helping renters and homeowners financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 565, which passed with strong bipartisan support, appropriates just more than $4.7 billion, of which close to $572 million comes from the state’s general fund.

“Once again we’ve proven that in Michigan Republicans and Democrats can work together to get things done,” Whitmer said ahead of the bill signing, where she was joined by lawmakers from both parties and local officials.

“This plan will help us continue fixing the damn roads — and the dams and roads.”

Most of the money is federal — about $3.1 billion coming from coronavirus relief funds and an additional $945.4 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress.

The biggest chunk of the money, about $1.8 billion, is allocated for various projects to improve the quality of drinking water. That includes nearly $1.3 billion in grants to support $750 million in drinking water infrastructure improvement projects around the state and $515 million in wastewater and stormwater projects, plus an additional  $506 million to support loans for similar projects and to replace lead service lines for drinking water.

Also included in the bill:

  • Nearly $383 million in emergency rental assistance to support low-income renters who have experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Nearly $317 million for road and bridge projects, of which about $238 million is for state projects and $79 million is for local ones.
  • Just over $250 million to improve high-speed broadband service in underserved areas.
  • $250 million to improve and maintain state parks, recreation areas, and state-designated trails around the state, plus another $200 million for local parks and trails in Detroit, Grand Rapids and northern Michigan.
  • Nearly $207 million in grants for dam-related projects.
  • Just over $121 million for a Homeowner Assistance Fund to help prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, utility or Internet service loss, or homeowner displacement.
  • $97.8 million for airport improvements.
  • $66.2 million to improve public transportation.

State Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, said in an earlier news release the legislation leverages “one-time federal funding to make generational improvements” across the state.

“By spending these dollars wisely, we will benefit Michiganders for decades to come,” he said.

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