President Joe Biden is expected to sign his historic $1.2 trillion infrastructure package on Monday. Michigan will get at least $10 billion from that legislation, which would be a huge shot in the arm for efforts to fix roads, bridges and underground infrastructure.
“There’s no way to minimize, $1.2 trillion is a big down payment on a long-overdue need.” —Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Twp.)
But what happens next as the money makes its way to the Michigan Legislature and local governments? And will this level of spending be enough to make the kinds of investments we need to truly modernize our infrastructure?
Listen: Reps. Dingell and Kildee discuss the infrastructure package.
Rep. Debbie Dingell is a Democrat from Dearborn representing Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. She says Monday’s bill signing is a major first step, but notes that it will now be up to state legislatures and local governments. The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has still not spent billions of dollars from the last round of federal stimulus money.
“There’s a lot of things in here that are really going to make a difference for the people of Michigan. And we have to make sure that these dollars don’t go to a Legislature that just sits on them and doesn’t spend them,” says Dingell. “They are targeted at getting to every local area in Michigan and we’ve got to make sure that they do.”
Rep.Dan Kildee is a Democrat from Flint Township representing Michigan’s 5th District. He’s also the chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus.
“It’s a big step forward. Frankly, it should be bigger,” says Kildee. “But there’s no way to minimize, $1.2 trillion is a big down payment on a long-overdue need.”
Kildee also addresses last week’s news that a district court judge gave final approval to a $626 million settlement deal for victims of the Flint Water Crisis.
“It’ll take more than $600 million to make Flint whole. We’ve got a long, long way to go,” says Kildee. “I don’t believe that that’s sufficient to give people in Flint justice,” says Kildee, also noting amount of money that could go toward attorneys’ fees. “The idea that a couple-hundred million dollars could go to attorney fees is really offensive.”