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Whitmer directive tries to move the needle on spending talks

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive Tuesday instructing state departments to make a list of projects that would be ready to go if an infrastructure deal is reached.

The Democratic governor is looking to move the needle in talks with the Republican-controlled Legislature on spending billions of dollars in federal infrastructure funds. The governor’s directive does not carry the force of law – and the governor cannot spend the money without the Legislature’s approval.

“Now we still have to work with the Legislature and look forward to figuring out how these funds are allocated, but once we are, then we’ll be able to get all that stuff done,” “ said Whitmer Press Secretary Bobby Leddy.

“What are those projects that we need next? “What are the processes that we need in place? And how are we going to get the job done?”

The directive also restates Whitmer’s priorities. Those include developing electric vehicle infrastructure and creating roads, bridges and dams that are more resistant to the effects of climate change.

Brad Williams with the Detroit Regional Chamber praised the directive. He says business leaders want to see that money put to work on roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

“We want to put money in quickly, but we want to put money into projects that are going to make sense, that are going to foster economic growth and are going to be of the most benefit to Michigan, so quickly but smartly,” he said.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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