Capital Catch-Up: February 13, 2023
Digging into Whitmer’s proposed state budget
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 2023-2024 state budget announced last week includes more than $2 billion in Michigan LCV priorities. Included is funding for water affordability programs, clean energy infrastructure, contaminated site cleanup, Proposal 2 implementation, replacement of lead drinking water service lines, electric vehicles, state parks, and much more.
Gov. Whitmer at the press conference for her proposed budget with Lt. Gov. Garland Gilchrist to her immediate left, Budget Director Chris Harkins to her right, and Kyle Guerrant, Deputy Budget Dir. to the far right. (Credit: @RLJnews via Twitter).
Made possible by historic federal investments in 2022, and increased state sales and income tax revenue, the governor’s proposal represents the largest proposed budget in Michigan history. Here is how some of the funding on Michigan LCV’s ‘kitchen table’ priorities breaks down:
- $225.8 million for lead service line replacement, $26 million of which is “ongoing”
- $31 million for groundwater mapping and data, and $25 million for dam removal
- $40 million for local water utility affordability programs
- $100 million for environmental justice contaminated site cleanup, $50 million of which would go toward reducing environmental health burdens within communities located close to sources of pollution
- $65 million to deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in public and at home, and to roll out accessible commercial chargers
- $55 million for state and local fleets to move to clean and electric fuel sources
- $45 million over two years to temporarily suspend the state sales tax on EVs on the first 40,000 of their purchase price
- $150 million in matching grants for electric school buses
Clean Energy Upgrades:
- $43 million for energy grid resilience, and $41.5 million for a renewable-ready community program to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and resilient infrastructure
- $100 million for weatherization and home repairs
- $300 million for school health and efficiency upgrades; making air quality and energy efficiency improvements through new HVAC, on-site renewable energy, electrification, drinking water system upgrades and more.
- $16.4 million to implement Proposals 1 and 2, including $4.7 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year and $11.7 million in supplemental funding for implementation
- $24 million for the 2024 presidential primary
- $1.2 million for expanded Secretary of State staffing at seven mobile offices in communities with barriers to access
With the legislature now considering the Governor’s proposal, Michigan LCV will work to ensure significant investments in Michigan’s water, energy, and elections will direct real-life benefits to Michiganders and our communities. There’s much work to do, details to hash out, and serious advocacy remains, but Gov. Whitmer’s proposals represent a good starting point for Michigan. We look forward to growing and targeting these investments in clean and affordable drinking water, clean and efficient energy, more accessible elections, and our health. Michigan LCV knows that investments in these kitchen table issues will create economic opportunity, good-paying jobs and putting money back into the pockets of Michiganders.
Black Voices @ The River presents Grand River Equity Framework
Last Wednesday, Grand River Voices, the Urban League of West Michigan and other partner groups presented the Grand River Equity Framework, a guiding document focused on ensuring equity is embedded throughout investment plans to revitalize the Grand River corridor. Michigan LCV was in attendance at the event hosted by Black Voices @ the River and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
From left to right: Michigan LCV’s Shannon Rochon, Abigail Barker and Wesley Watson at the Black Voices at the River event!
Michigan LCV’s Visual Storytelling Manager Samantha Schubert interviewing Ned Andre, program coordinator for Community Collaboration on Climate Change, a Grand Rapids-based climate justice organization.
Black community leaders spoke before a packed room of local residents, activists, Michigan LCV staff and local media about the importance of engaging with the Black community around economic opportunities tied to the revitalization of the Grand River’s iconic rapids and downtown waterfront.
AG Nessel joins Michigan LCV for board meeting
Last Friday, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Senator Sarah Anthony joined Michigan LCV in Lansing for our first board meeting of 2023! It was great to meet with Attorney General Nessel and Senator Anthony and hear about their priorities in Lansing for 2023 and more.
Michigan LCV staff and board members with Attorney General Nessel (middle) last week!
Michigan LCV staff and board members with Senator Anthony (middle) last week!
PFAS contamination found in Muskegon
A map of the facility and flow of groundwater towards a nearby stream (Credit: Michigan PFAS Action Response Team).
Last week, PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) were discovered at Bayer Crop Science’s former facility in Muskegon, the site of longtime agricultural chemical manufacturing. It remains to be seen whether the contamination has impacted local drinking water wells.
Update From Washington
Communities across the country are increasingly being impacted by PFAS, an acronym that stands for Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS are a class of more than 4,700 toxic chemicals found in a variety of industrial products such as water-resistant fabrics, paints, and firefighting foams. In recent years, PFAS contamination has become a priority issue for Michigan LCV and led to the creation of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network (GLPAN), a coalition of PFAS-impacted citizens advocating for action to address the PFAS crisis.
Read the full article here.
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