March 5th, 2019
The governor’s 2020 budget called for $120 million for safe, clean drinking water. The $120 million included:
- $37.5 million for Lead and Copper Rule Implementation to make grants for lead service line replacements in vulnerable communities, technical help, and supporting local community education efforts.
- $30 million allocated to funding for cleanup activities, technology development, cleanup solutions, and research and health studies to inform water standards.
- $40 million for Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF) Loan Forgiveness to resolve issues with communities with drinking water challenges having outstanding DWRF loans that often prevent needed infrastructure improvements.
Additionally, in the governor’s School Aid Budget, $61.5 million in one-time school aid funding was proposed for new hydration stations in Michigan schools. The initiative would direct EGLE to create a program that would dedicate at least 1 hydration station per every 100 pupils per school building for clean, filtered drinking water.
In 2016 Governor Snyder’s 21st Century Task Force documented Michigan’s annual water infrastructure needs to be more than $800 million annually. The Governor’s one-time, $180 million dollar proposal does not fill this funding gap or solve our drinking water issues, but it is a meaningful start. The proposal targets key drinking water priorities and gives lawmakers, stakeholders, and advocates more time to find a comprehensive, sustainable solution.