by Scott McClallen
Michigan lawmakers struck a $4.8 billion spending deal later than 10 p.m. on Wednesday with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“These are tough times for families, small businesses, and communities, and this bipartisan supplemental will help grow our economy, create jobs, and invest in every region of our state,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I look forward to signing this supplemental when it reaches my desk and continuing in this spirit of collaboration to pass another balanced, bipartisan budget that delivers on the kitchen-table issues.”
Senate Bill 565 and House Bill 5525 include $1.2 billion for water infrastructure, $382 million in COVID-19 emergency rental assistance, $250 million for broadband, and $316 million for road and bridge funding. A spending breakdown is here. Highlights include:
- $506 million for the water state revolving funds.
- $250 million for dam repair.
- $121 million in homeowners assistance.
The bill also includes:
- $25 million for the mobility future, the state heavily subsidizing a Corktown tech and electric vehicle corridor.
- $50 million for potash extraction, a plant nutrient used as fertilizer.
- $50 million for clean energy.
If the plan from the two Republican-led chambers is enacted, Michigan would have about $2.1 billion remaining in federal stimulus. State Budget Director Christopher Harkins welcomed the agreement.
“Our bipartisan agreement is proof of what is possible when we collaborate,” Harkins said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the legislature as they work to pass this supplemental in the days ahead and for the governor to sign it soon. There are many noteworthy investments in this deal which will benefit the state for the long-term, including funding to replace lead service lines in Benton Harbor, expand high-speed internet and build housing in underserved rural and urban areas, protect drinking water for families, and improve state and local parks throughout the state.”
Senate Appropriations Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said the plan will help communities improve drinking water and infrastructure, ensure dam safety, and boost broadband access.
“By successfully working together, we’ve reached an agreement on historic funding to make Michigan an even better place to raise a family, live and work – and I look forward to seeing the results of these transformative investments,” Stamas said in a statement.
House Appropriations Chairman Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, said they must harness an “unprecedented opportunity” to make long-lasting investments.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to make monumental improvements to the structural foundation of Michigan communities for decades to come,” Albert said in a statement. “We must take advantage of it and do it the right way. This plan will use one-time resources available today to benefit our children and grandchildren for the rest of their lives – which is extremely important given the potential ramifications of current federal policies in future years.”
– – –
Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Jim Stamas” by Jim Stamas.