U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) helped the Senate pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that makes historic investments in Michigan infrastructure, including roads, bridges, high-speed internet, electric vehicles and the Great Lakes that will strengthen our economy. This bill would also boost our economic competitiveness. It also includes robust funding for Peters’ bipartisan STORM Act that was signed into law earlier this year and will help communities address and mitigate shoreline erosion, flooding and rising water levels. In recent months, Peters held roundtable discussions in communities across Michigan to hear from local, business and labor leaders on infrastructure needs and improvements.
“This bipartisan infrastructure legislation is a big win for Michigan. It’s an investment in creating good-paying jobs, helping local businesses grow and upgrading our aging and crumbling infrastructure,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate, Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. “This bill will help ensure Michigan can continue building back better — by repairing our roads and bridges, expanding access to high-speed internet and helping communities address rising water levels, shoreline erosion and flooding. This is a great step, and we must keep working to make sure this legislation is signed into law.”
The bipartisan infrastructure bill would 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 would receive an estimated $7.3 billion for federal-aid highway programs and $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years. Michigan would 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 could 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 would 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 would 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 would 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: The legislation would provide $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). 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 package 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 would 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 would 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 would 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 help ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation and can remain competitive on the global stage.
- Public Transit: The legislation would improve sustainable transportation options for Michiganders. Michigan would 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 package, 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 package 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 would authorize $100 million for the fund. Peters also helped to include $21 million to help ensure 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 assaults 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 package, 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 would 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 would 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 would 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 would 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.