LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – 6 News has learned that legislative Republicans and Democrats are inching closer to spending $2.5 billion to remove lead pipes, clean up the water supply in schools and modernize waste water facilities around the state.
GOP leaders State Senator Mike Shirkey and State House Speaker Jason Wentworth have sent word to their House and Senate budget committees to figure out how to spend $2.5 billion in federal dollars on a host of projects including the following:
A possible $600 million plan to get rid of toxic lead pipes contaminating water supplies in multiple places, another $700 million to fix dams, modernize waste treatment plants and $85 million to install water filters in a number of Michigan schools.
Plus another $100 million to rid the environment of PFAS.
While the Democratic Vice Chair of the Senate Budget Committee Curtis Hertel says the final deal is still in the works, the fact that they are talking dollar amounts for the first time is exceedingly good news for local governments all over the state that have been waiting and waiting for these federal dollars to flow into their coffers.
“The state is sitting on billions of dollars that were sent here by the federal government to help us recover from the pandemic, those dollars are not out the door. This is a break through that we’re actually going to start spending some of those dollars. That’s a good sign,” Hertel said.
Hertel said he’s hopeful the money could be sent out the door by Christmas.