Governor Whitmer fulfilled her constitutional duty and presented the Legislature with the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year State Budget recommendations this week. The Governor’s main topics in her presentation, given by Budget Director Dave Massaron, were expanding skills training and childcare for families; providing a further down payment on rebuilding the state’s crumbling bridges and water infrastructure; and helping small businesses recover from the pandemic. In her continued effort to support increased funding for infrastructure in Michigan, Governor Whitmer recommended one time funding for local bridges and underground infrastructure.
The Governor’s “Rebuilding Michigan” plan that was approved by the state’s Transportation Commission in 2020 is in total $3.5 billion over a five-year period. Some of those projects included in the bond program have already been constructed and the remainder are to continue into the next few years. The bond program is approved for state funded roads, meaning none of the money will go towards construction on any local roads. The Governor proposed $300 million from the state’s General Fund to pay for maintenance and reconstructing approximately 120 local bridges across the state, which could help out local communities tremendously. MITA staff has begun discussions with MDOT and theLegislature to fully understand the details of the proposed program.
In addition to money for local bridges, the recommendations also include $290 million in grants for sewer overflows and failing septic systems. This money is also recommended to come from existing revenues in the state authorized through the 2002 state bond for underground infrastructure repairs. This recommendation, along with some federal dollars that the state has received, will total almost $600 million, if approved, for underground infrastructure investment.
The next step in the budget process is for the Legislature to develop the budget, with or without the Governor’s recommendations, this Spring. MITA staff will be advocating for as much funding to go towards our crumbling infrastructure as possible. If you have any questions please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at email@example.com; or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They both can be reached at 517-347-8336.