Lake Michigan Senior Correspondent for Detroit Public Television’s Great Lakes Bureau Gary Wilson says nobody’s going to say they don’t want to take care of drinking water problems in Michigan. But he says there will be debates over Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal to spend $120-million on drinking water infrastructure.
Whitmer proposed the supplemental funding as she presented her budget proposal to the state Legislature. The money would be used for replacing lead service lines, responding to PFASes and setting up a fund so local governments can borrow money for water infrastructure. Wilson says Whitmer’s request shows that drinking water is near the top of her agenda along with roads and schools.
Wilson says it’s risky to try and predict what any legislative body will do. He says lawmakers will likely be receptive to Whitmer’s drinking water proposals. But Wilson says he’s not sure if they will approve that amount of money. He says the governor may have to convince some of her fellow Democrats depending on their state House or Senate district.
Whitmer was very direct in her presentation, says Wilson. He says lawmakers were polite, but critical of her road tax proposal in response. Wilson says “I think there’s a little dance going on right here, and I think it will be interesting to see how much patience the governor has to participate in the dance.”