State Rep. Graham Filler today voted for a historic plan to fix roads, protect drinking water, upgrade parks and make other important improvements to state and local infrastructure.
The $4.8 billion plan will tend to aging facilities and infrastructure, spur community and economic development, provide access to safe drinking water, and ramp up technology to help rural communities meet today’s needs. It also continues efforts to stabilize the state’s unemployment benefits trust fund and improve service at the struggling Unemployment Insurance Agency.
“It’s well past time to address the critical infrastructure needs of communities across our state,” said Filler, of Clinton County. “I fought hard to ensure investments will be made in rural communities like ours, and I’m very pleased to see that reflected in this plan.”
Highlights of the plan include:
Road and bridge repairs: More than $380 million will assist state and local projects across the state without increasing taxes or tacking on debt.
Dam safety: More than $300 million will provide disaster relief and upgrade aging and obsolete facilities, with significant funding specifically for the Midland and Gladwin county areas where dams failed in May 2020.
Energy: A $25 million investment will make low-carbon, lower-cost energy options more widely available. The grants will be available to businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local units of government for the purposes of developing or constructing facilities with natural gas, combined heat and power, and other renewable energy.
Technology: A $250 million investment will boost access to rural broadband internet needed for work, school and everyday life. Rural communities will be able to apply for grants to expand broadband internet to underserved areas.
Safe, clean drinking water: A nearly $2 billion investment will help provide safe drinking water and “clean water” grants in Michigan communities – combatting water contamination, establishing filtered water fountains in schools, and improving sewer systems. Another $35 million will address failing septic systems in rural communities.
Parks and recreation: A $250 million investment will improve state parks like Sleepy Hollow and an additional $200 million will benefit new local park and trail projects.
Community support and development: Local communities would receive $322 million in COVID relief and $46 million to protect against falling revenue that impacts critical local services.
Filler noted the plan includes additional measures to stabilize and improve service at Michigan’s struggling Unemployment Insurance Agency. An additional $100 million investment will help offset fraud and bolster the benefits trust fund, which fell from above $4.5 billion to under $1 billion during the pandemic. The new investment comes in addition to the $150 million deposit approved by the Legislature in January.
The new plan also beefs up resources to fight fraud and improve customer service at the unemployment agency without asking businesses to pay more into the system.
The measures, Senate Bill 565 and House Bill 5525, will soon advance to the governor for her expected signature.
“There is no ‘fundamental right’ to abortion – it was not a right envisioned by our founding fathers, and it’s not part of the Constitution or our nation’s history or moral compass. Roe v. Wade was an aberration of a legal decision that conjured up a fundamental right to abortion without any basis. It was bad law that set the precedent surrounding abortion for far too long. This Supreme Court righted that wrong and returned authority over abortion back to the states.
Rep. Filler talks about House passage Wednesday of a four-bill package, including a bill he sponsored, to better protect crime victims, give them a stronger voice in the criminal justice process, and make sure they are informed about their rights.