Governor Whitmer signs “Building Michigan Together Plan”


Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed a bipartisan $4.7 billion infrastructure spending bill into law.

It allocates nearly $2 billion of that money to water-related priorities like clean water and dam safety.

Whitmer said this will help prevent future lead service line issues like those seen in Flint and Benton Harbor.

“When the water is treated, when it is maintained, it is drinkable. However, we know that it is important to continue our work to replace these lines. So these resources will go a long way to ensuring that we protect people and the quality of their drinking water,” Whitmer said at a bill signing news conference in Grand Rapids.

The law, dubbed the “Building Michigan Together Plan,” uses more than $4 billion in federal funds.

Whitmer said many other Midwestern states have already spent the money they received.

“Every day that those dollars go unallocated has an opportunity cost. We see inflation continuing to eat up more of what we are able to do with those dollars. And certainly labor is another complicating factor,” Whitmer said.

According to the state budget office, Whitmer said, the state still has about $2 billion to allocate.

Whitmer said more money from a federal infrastructure package would start flowing in May.

Whitmer’s office highlighted several areas of spending in the plan, including:

  • $1.1 billion for drinking water infrastructure
  • $380 million in COVID-19 rental assistance
  • $250 million for state parks and trail infrastructure
  • $200 million for local parks and trail infrastructure
  • $322 million from the Federal Coronavirus Local Finance Stimulus Fund for local governments
  • $251 million for broadband service subsidies

State Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) said she’s excited about how her district plans to use the parks money.

“Here in Grand Rapids, we have dreamed, planned and worked to reinvent our relationship with the river that defines our city by restoring the rapids and creating a waterfront corridor that invites us to interact with the river and each other in a whole new ways,” Brinks said.

Along with building a greenway trail stretching along the Grand River from Lowell to Lake Michigan, the money would also fund broadband expansion efforts in the state.

Speaking from the White House on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist described funding for the Broadband Grants and Michigan Broadband Internet Office as transformative for communities across the state.

“[It] will allow us to target these investments to the communities that need them most, to support Michigan innovators who are building new networks to connect new communities. It will support innovators who are partnering to make internet access more affordable,” said Gilchrist.

Whitmer created the Michigan High-speed Internet Office last spring to coordinate broadband expansion efforts, but lawmakers hadn’t funded the staff until now.

Copyright 2022 Michigan Radio. To learn more, visit Michigan Radio.


Comments are closed.