Michigan lawmakers have passed legislation appropriating $4.7 billion for state infrastructure, including more than $1 billion for various water projects.About $750 million will go toward drinking water infrastructure such as projects to replace lead service lines or remove contaminants like PFA substances, potentially harmful chemicals used in industrial and consumer products that are have been found in water.
The bill, SB 565, sets $75 million for lead line replacement in Detroit, and $45 million that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) says will cover all of the lead service line replacement in the town of Benton Harbor, where officials are in the midst of projects to remove lead sources and repair a water treatment plant. Another $515 million will be put toward clean water projects such as sewer rehabilitation in Macomb County.
“This is a much-needed and welcome investment for Michigan’s wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure,” Damian Hill, president of AGC of Michigan, said in a statement.
The bill also appropriates $316.7 million for roads and bridges, including $237.5 million for trunk line construction programs and $79.2 million for local roads. Another $450 million will go toward state and local park projects. The bill also sets funding for dam safety projects, broadband internet infrastructure and other work.
A legislative analysis breaks down the appropriations in detail.
Jimmy Greene, CEO and president of ABC of Michigan, says the contractors group “is glad to see any and all bipartisan efforts to fix and rebuild our decaying infrastructure,” but expressed disappointment over the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires the use of prevailing wage and benefits rates for workers on federal projects and is facing a potential rate update under a U.S. Labor Dept. proposal.
Most of the funding for the bill—about $4.1 billion—comes from federal sources, including COVID-19 aid and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The state is supplying the rest from tax receipts, including general budget and the state's surplus.
State Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), who sponsored the House bill, called the spending plan “an unprecedented opportunity to make monumental improvements to the structural foundation of Michigan for decades to come.”
The supplemental funding bill passed the state House 95-7 and Senate 34-3 on March 24, and Whitmer has said she will sign the bill.
“These are tough times for families, small businesses, and communities, and this supplemental will help grow our economy, create jobs, and invest in every region of our state,” she said in a statement.