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Governor Whitmer signs a major infrastructure bill

A close, three-quarter view of a narrow pipe, whose cut end faces just off-center. The pipe has dirt on its outside.
Paul Sancya/AP
/
AP
A section of lead service line in Flint, in July 2018.

The $4.7 billion legislation has been dubbed the “Building Michigan Together Plan.”

Clean drinking water, safer dams, and state parks and greenways are all part of a multi-billion-dollar spending bill Michigan’s governor signed today.

The bill is the state's latest effort to spend federal coronavirus relief dollars.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says many other Midwestern states have already spent all the money they received.

“Every day that these dollars aren’t appropriated has an opportunity cost with it. We see inflation continue to eat more of what we’re able to do with these dollars. And certainly, workforce is another complicating factor,” she said. Whitmer added the state still has about $2 billion left to allocate.

The bill she signed today designates nearly $2 billion for water-related priorities like clean drinking water and safe dams. Whitmer said it will help prevent future lead-service-line related issues like those seen in Flint and Benton Harbor.

“When the water’s treated, when it’s maintained, it’s safe to drink. However, we know that it’s important that we continue our work to replace these lines. So, these resources will go a long way toward making sure that we’re protecting people and the quality of their drinking water,” she said.

Democratic state Senator Winnie Brinks said the legislation funds a range of priorities.

“Whether it’s continuing work of combatting PFAS and lead in our drinking water, expanding high-speed internet access, ensuring that we have enough affordable housing, or helping keep people in their current home amid difficult financial circumstances, these supplemental funding bills deliver dollars where we need them most,” Brinks said.

Other spending areas include COVID-19 rental assistance, and road and bridge programs.

Money from a federal infrastructure package will start arriving in May.