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Bill signed into law to protect Michigan communities from losing federal funding

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A bill was signed into law that would protect communities in Michigan from losing access to federal funding when the population threshold changes.

The bill would help protect communities in Michigan from losing access to important federal funding because of possible changes to the population threshold for metropolitan areas. The Metropolitan Areas Protection and Standardization Act were authored by Senator Gary Peters. He announced on Monday that the bill was signed into law.

The federal funding normally goes towards important programs for which communities count on. A previous proposal from The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said they would increase the population threshold for metropolitan areas from 50,000 to 100,000. This would have cut federal resources from communities across the U.S. including six in Michigan like Battle Creek, Bay City, Jackson, Midland, Monroe, and Niles-Benton Harbor.

The proposed change was halted.

“Untested changes to metropolitan area standards could put communities throughout Michigan at risk of losing access to vital federal resources,” said Peters. “This new law will ensure that the federal government carefully considers how changes to this classification may impact communities across the nation before they go into effect.”

The bill would require the OMB to collaborate with federal agencies to help disclose the impacts on federal programs before any change can be implemented in a metropolitan area.

Public comment periods for potential changes were extended and they make sure communities are aware of how Metropolitan statistical areas, which were created to standardize and identify the nation’s largest centers of population and activity, are used to determine federal benefits.