A federal spending bill for the 2016 budget year includes potential funding to boost efforts to fight blight in Michigan and to protect the Great Lakes, according to U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters.
Stabenow and Peters said the bill, agreed upon Wednesday, would authorize the U.S. Treasury Department to transfer up to $2 billion in additional funding to the Hardest Hit Fund, which they say has been used to fight blight successfully in urban areas across Michigan
"If you don't have healthy, viable neighborhoods, you don't have a healthy, viable city," said Peters. "And this blight funding is absolutely critical."
Stabenow and Peters said they expect Michigan will do extremely well when it comes to allocation of these new community revitalization funds.
They said the spending bill also will make $1.25 billion available to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and $300 million to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. According to Peters, these monies will have a significant impact on Michigan and reflect a bipartisan recognition of the importance of the Great Lakes to the entire country.
Stabenow and Peters also praised the bill's allocation of $100 million to advance the construction of a massive nuclear science facility at Michigan State University.