LANSING — State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) introduced House Bill 5353 today to allow Michigan to issue $1 billion in bonds for infrastructure improvement. The funding could include any projects that would repair or upgrade infrastructure, as well as funding lead or asbestos abatement. If passed, the issue would be put before voters this November as a ballot proposal.

“The spotlight on Flint has cast a wider view across the state on how our infrastructure is aging, and how that could potentially bring harm to individuals and businesses,” Rep. Schor said. “With this bill, we would have the funding necessary to fix problems before they become a potential disaster, and stop another crisis before it starts.”

Gov. Snyder proposed a new $165 million infrastructure fund, but cost estimates around the state show this is not enough to solve the issues of Michigan’s long-neglected infrastructure.

“We can’t have a Band-Aid fix for something as important as infrastructure in our state, as both our residents and our businesses depend on it,” Rep. Schor said. “We have many infrastructure improvement needs. This bill will allow us to address costs to update and fix things like lead pipes and paint, sewer and water, school infrastructure including asbestos and old equipment like boilers and HVAC, and so many others. Now is the time to put this before the voters to make this investment in our present and our future.”

The bill specifies that the money could be used for public infrastructure improvements that include, but are not limited to, drinking water system improvements, sewage system improvements, lead and asbestos contamination abatement, and heating and cooling improvements, for local units of government and school districts.

Schor said, “Borrowing costs are at an historic low, and a number of economists are rightly pointing out that this is an ideal time to take advantage of economic factors that make bonding a cost-effective way to invest in important projects.”