Peters Attends White House Bill Signing of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; Legislation Invests in Michigan Roads, Bridges, High-Speed Internet, Great Lakes and Mitigates Extreme Weather Events
Peters Joined President Biden at White House for Signing of Bill That Includes $500 Million in Funding He Secured for STORM Act to Address Shoreline Erosion, Flooding, Rising Water Levels
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) joined President Biden at the White House today for the signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, which invests in Michigan infrastructure, including roads, bridges, high-speed internet, electric vehicles and the Great Lakes. Following the signing of the bill, Peters released the following statement:
“Let’s be clear: this bipartisan infrastructure bill will bolster our economy as we improve the way Michiganders move, live and work for generations,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate, Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “With President Biden’s signature on this landmark legislation, we have made good on a major promise to build back better and are delivering results for the American people. Soon we will create good-paying jobs, repair our roads and bridges with resiliency in mind so that it reduces costs on taxpayers, expand access to high-speed internet and help communities address rising water levels, shoreline erosion and flooding with funding for my STORM Act – all while making the largest investment in the Great Lakes ever. I’m incredibly proud to have helped make this a reality and I’ll continue working to support Michigan’s economic recovery.”
Peters helped pass this bill that boosts our economic competitiveness out of the Senate in August, and successfully included $500 million in funding for his bipartisan STORM Act that was signed into law earlier this year. This funding will help communities address and mitigate shoreline erosion, flooding and rising water levels. The package also includes $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which is the largest amount of funding provided for the program to date. Prior to helping the bill pass the Senate, Peters held roundtable discussions with communities across Michigan to hear from local, business and labor leaders on infrastructure needs and improvements. Peters then took action and included a number of significant provisions to support Michigan communities in the bill, which were welcomed by local leaders below.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide urgently needed funding in Michigan and other pressing priorities that Peters supported and includes provisions he led or cosponsored:
- Upgrading Roads and Bridges: In Michigan, roughly 1,219 bridges and over 7,300 miles of highway are in “poor condition.” On average, each driver in Michigan pays $644 annually in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. Under this bill, based on formula funding alone, Michigan will receive an estimated $7.3 billion for federal-aid highway programs and $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years. Michigan will also be eligible to compete for the Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and additional funding that is dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
- Reducing the Risk of Natural Disasters, Including Shoreline Erosion and Rising Water Levels: Peters secured $500 million for a new program that will be used by local communities in Michigan and across the nation to carry out mitigation projects that reduce natural disaster risk, including extreme flooding, shoreline erosion and rising water levels. These threats have put homes, small businesses, property, and communities at risk, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Peters authored the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, to create this new program. The funding will help states establish revolving loan funds to provide low-interest loans to local communities for disaster mitigation projects. In addition, Peters also helped secure $1 billion for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that support states, local communities, tribes, and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects.
- Expanding High-Speed Internet Deployment, Adoption, and Affordability: Michigan will receive a minimum of $100 million to help provide high-speed internet coverage across the state, including access to the at least 398,000 Michiganders who currently lack it. Additionally, nearly 2.5 million or 25% of people in Michigan will be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.
- Improving Water Infrastructure, Including Replacing Lead Pipes and Addressing PFAS Contamination: The legislation will provide $55 billion to invest in clean drinking water, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and address PFAS contamination.
- Protecting the Great Lakes with the Largest Investment in History: The legislation will provide $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which is the largest investment in the program in history. In 2019, Peters secured the first increase in GLRI funding since the program was established a decade ago.
- Supporting American Workers and Manufacturers: Taxpayer dollars should be used to buy American-made products and materials, which in turn supports American workers and advances American competitiveness. The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes a provision championed by Peters to strengthen Buy American requirements and close loopholes to ensure the federal government is spending taxpayer dollars on American-made products that support American companies and workers, and create American jobs. The legislation also requires domestically produced materials to be used for federal infrastructure projects, promotes domestic production of personal protective equipment, directs the creation of a BuyAmerican.gov website, and creates a Made in America Office in the White House. Finally, the bill strengthens the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to boost opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses to sell products to federal agencies.
- Upgrading Power Infrastructure: The bill will provide $73 billion for upgrading our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy, and for investing in demonstration projects and research hubs for next-generation technologies.
- Investing in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: The legislation will make the first-ever national investment in EV charging infrastructure and includes $7.5 billion in funding. Under this bill, Michigan would expect to receive $110 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. Michigan will also have the opportunity to apply for grant funding dedicated to EV charging. This could help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and also support domestic manufacturing to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation and can remain competitive on the global stage.
- Public Transit: The legislation will improve sustainable transportation options for Michiganders. Michigan will expect to receive $1 billion over five years to improve public transportation options across the state.
- Strengthening Cybersecurity at All Levels of Government: As a part of this bipartisan bill, Peters helped provide $1 billion for a fund, managed by the Department of Homeland Security, to support state, local, tribal, and territorial government efforts to improve cybersecurity needs by securing their networks, assessing their cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and building up their cybersecurity workforce. The legislation included Peters’ provision to provide additional resources to help entities recover from a serious cyber-attack. The provision enables the Secretary of Homeland Security to declare a Significant Incident in the event of an ongoing or imminent cyber-attack, and allow the Secretary to access a Cyber Response and Recovery Fund that would help entities recover from an attack. The provision will authorize $100 million for the fund. Peters also helped to include $21 million to make sure the newly created Office of the National Cyber Director (NCD) will be able to quickly secure qualified personnel to support its important cybersecurity mission. Peters led the charge to create the National Cyber Director position and confirm its first leader. As Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters will continue leading efforts to deter online attacks and hold foreign adversaries and criminal organizations accountable for targeting American networks.
- Securing our Borders and Ensuring Safe Travel and Trade at Ports of Entry: Peters has long worked to secure our nation’s borders and promote safe and efficient travel and trade at ports of entry. As a part of this legislation, he helped secure approximately $3.8 billion in funding to support the modernization of U.S. land ports of entry along our northern and southern borders. This funding will help Customs and Border Protection upgrade facilities allowing them to more efficiently and securely process travelers and trade at land border crossings.
- Improving Federal Vehicle Safety Testing: The legislation includes the Peters-led, bipartisan FAIR Crash Tests Act to improve the federal government’s vehicle safety testing practices, specifically around crash test dummies. The legislation will require a study of federal vehicle safety tests. The tests currently fail to use representative female crash test dummies, especially in the driver’s seat, even though research suggests that women have a higher likelihood of being killed or significantly injured in a car crash.
- Equipping Technology to Help Prevent Drunk Driving: The legislation includes a bipartisan bill Peters cosponsored to help address drunk driving and incorporate drunk driving prevention technology into vehicles to save lives. Peters highlighted his support for the legislation when he convened a hearing on the future of mobility as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports. Rana Abbas Taylor, a Michigander and advocate with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, testified at the hearing and Peters has worked with her to advance the legislation.
- Improving School Bus Safety: The legislation includes the bipartisan Stop for School Buses Act, which Peters previously helped introduce, requiring a comprehensive evaluation of methods to prevent the dangerous and illegal passing of school buses at loading zones.
- Improving Traffic Safety & Congestion: The legislation includes a provision based on the Smart Intersections Act of 2021, a bipartisan bill Peters helped introduce that will authorize grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to upgrade traffic signals with innovative technologies that make intersections safer and more efficient, including connected vehicle technologies.
- Enhancing the Motorcyclist Advisory Council: The legislation includes Peters’ bipartisan Motorcyclist Advisory Council Act to enhance the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) within the U.S. Department of Transportation. The new council will advise the Department of Transportation on a range of road safety issues impacting motorcyclists such as road construction and maintenance as well as new transportation technologies. Peters is an avid motorcycle rider and helped found and currently co-chairs the bipartisan Senate Motorcycle Caucus.
- Strengthening Transportation Sector Workforce: The legislation includes a Peters-led bipartisan bill to expand career opportunities throughout the transportation industry. The Promoting Service in Transportation Act will direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to deploy public awareness campaigns highlighting job opportunities in the transportation sector to help fill existing and future workforce shortages.
- Supporting Rural and Tribal Community Transportation Improvements: The legislation includes the bipartisan ROUTES Act, which Peters helped introduce to help rural communities, Native American tribes, and underserved communities in rural areas better compete for federal transportation resources.
Here’s what leaders around the state are saying about this critical legislation being signed into law:
“This federal infrastructure bill will mean much-needed investment in Michigan’s transportation system and nicely complement Gov. Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program,” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “I was pleased to participate with Senator Peters in roundtables he conducted across the state to put a focus on our needs. I appreciate all he and Senator Stabenow have done to make this a reality.”
“In recent months, we have experienced events that have shown why we must make substantial investments in our decaying infrastructure,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “Our needs have reached emergency proportions. The bill signed into law, with the help of Michigan’s chief advocates Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, will begin to help fixing our roads, bridges and water lines as well as provide good-paying jobs for our residents.”
“The story of the infrastructure data is loud and clear, and the need for impactful investment continues to grow with each day it is deferred; SEMCOG thanks Senators Peters and Stabenow for their leadership in passing this vital bill into law,” said Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. “SEMCOG appreciates the efforts of Southeast Michigan’s Congressional Delegation to move the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act across the finish line and deliver the strong federal support we have talked about for years. Southeast Michigan’s communities continue to work together and stand ready to leverage asset management principles to facilitate meaningful, coordinated, and equitable investment of available resources in infrastructure across the region.”
“This legislation makes the kind of investments necessary not only to improve our state’s critical infrastructure, but to lift up the workers and families that make these upgrades possible,” said Mike Aaron, Business Manager for Laborers Local 1191. “We are grateful for Senator Peters’ work to secure numerous wins for Michigan, including a provision we championed that will reinforce Buy American rules to ensure our taxpayer dollars are spent on American-made products and that we support good-paying, union jobs in our state. Our organization looks forward to working with the Senator to rebuild Michigan’s infrastructure as well as supporting our union workers whether that is by closing a growing skills gap or expanding apprenticeship opportunities for Michiganders. Our members live in the communities that need these investments most and while the work is hard, it builds the families and communities that make us who we are as Michiganders.”
“The infrastructure package signed into law is transformational for local communities like Lansing,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “We have tremendous needs for physical infrastructure fixes like roads and sidewalks and bridges as well as water infrastructure, EV, and other infrastructure needed. We have been doing what we can to update our infrastructure, and this federal investment will create the change that Lansing and so many other communities around the country need. Senator Peters has come to Lansing and viewed our needs first-hand, and I thank him for all the work he has done to get this legislation across the finish line.”
“These are exactly the types of investments needed to not only repair and rebuild what has made our community so successful but also an opportunity to lay the foundation for our future,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “Fighting climate change through expanding the EV network and enhancing our transportation infrastructure while closing the digital divide is something that will benefit us all. I’m appreciative of Senator Peters’ leadership and look forward to continuing to work with him as we find ways to implement a shared vision for what’s possible.”
“Damage from the harsh effects of climate change on our water related infrastructure in the Great Lakes region is of great concern to shoreline communities like Traverse City,” said Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers. “I appreciate Senator Peters’ dedication and his efforts toward supporting our needs in Michigan and for all the Great Lakes states in the current infrastructure bill. Maintaining water quality in Michigan is a top priority and Senator Peters understands the importance this has on our local economy. It’s exciting to see this bill signed into law so we can continue to protect this important fresh water resource.”
“The need for investment in infrastructure is critical, as it is the circulatory system of our economy,” said Andrew Younger, Executive Director of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “Any time we make improvements, especially forward-thinking ones, it can create growth opportunities for businesses, and jobs, in our area.”
“First, Senator Peters’ approach with the infrastructure bill is greatly appreciated, as it is notable that he took the initiative to engage and listen to Upper Peninsula stakeholders as the legislation was being debated and before it was signed into law to have an understanding of what was important to us locally, such as our need for accessible and affordable broadband,” said Marty Fittante, CEO of InvestUP. “With the pandemic highlighting further the critical importance of building out accessible and affordable broadband opportunities, we are grateful for Senator Peters’ continued leadership to make that investment in broadband locally. The funding found in the infrastructure bill, and its emphasis of rural communities, is just the latest example of his commitment in this regard, just months after he lead a bi-partisan coalition to pass the Rip and Replace legislation that was critical to the continuity of the Education Access Network.”
“I thank Sen. Peters, Sen. Stabenow and the bipartisan effort of Washington on the passage of this transformational infrastructure bill,” said Bob Trezise, Jr. President and CEO, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). “Senator Peters engaged LEAP and the Greater Lansing community and is now delivering, not only the desperately needed traditional infrastructure needs of our of three county area and Michigan, but on critical items like electric car and broadband development that will truly help propel us forward and successfully compete on a global scale to attract more new, cutting-edge industry creating good jobs for all of our citizens.”
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