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Senate infrastructure bill gets mostly positive reviews in Michigan with some hoping for more

The United States Senate building
J. Scott Applewhite
The federal infrastructure bill now goes to the US House, where there is some support for going bigger than the one-trillion-dollar proposal. 

A bipartisan infrastructure bill cleared the US Senate Tuesday with the support of both of Michigan’s senators.

“There is so much in this infrastructure bill that is good for Michigan,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat. She pointed to money for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Soo Locks as specific examples of projects to benefit the state.

Senator Gary Peters, also a Democrat, shepherded a $1 billion cybersecurity provision as part of the omnibus measure. 

“These attacks pose a serious threat to our national and economic security,” he said in a statement,” and they must be stopped with a comprehensive approach from the federal government.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Michigan would get an additional $1.7 billion under the bill over the next five years, and that will help fix roads, dams and bridges, upgrade the electrical grid and expand the network of electric vehicle charging stations.

But Mike Nystrom of the Michigan Infrastructure Association cautioned the $1 trillion number may seem eye-popping, but when divided between all the states and all the needs, it’s not really that much.

“There’s a lot of good that’s going to come out of this,” he said, “but when you hear those huge dollars, you think a lot of everything is going to be fixed, and that’s just not the case here.”

The bill’s next stop is the House, where some members of Michigan’s delegation say they want more funding for manufacturing and bringing vehicle charging stations to low-income neighborhoods and rural areas.                  

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.