By DAVID EGGERT Associated Press
LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday proposed spending more than $ 1.5 billion in federal pandemic relief funding to help boost the business climate, redevelop polluted sites and take action such as accelerating the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The proposals are the latest proposed by the Democratic governor since Congress and President Joe Biden approved unprecedented $ 6.5 billion in discretionary aid for the state, half of which can be allocated now. She and the Republican-led legislature did not allocate any of the funds. Some could be negotiated as they work to finalize the next state budget before October, although much will not be approved until later.
According to Whitmer’s plan, around $ 700 million would be used to redevelop brownfields, rehabilitate vacant buildings, prepare sites for commercial development, create more energy efficient homes and strengthen regional economic resilience plans. About $ 350 million would go towards fostering a business environment that the governor says is more conducive to high-tech, high-growth startups, preparing manufacturers for opportunities in emergency industries, accelerating charging infrastructure for them. electric cars and expanding an internship program for science, technology, engineering and math students.
An additional $ 456 million would boost the Going PRO program – which gives employers money to help train current and newly-hired workers – to help people who are almost out of school or whose classes have been impacted by the coronavirus epidemic, expand learning and help released inmates make the transition to work.