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Lt. Gov. Gilchrist says federal infrastructure funds "lay the foundation" for Michigan opportunity

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Michigan officials are using this week’s one-year anniversary of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to highlight its impact on the state.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist says billions of dollars from the act have already gone toward road and bridge repairs, water infrastructure, and public transportation.

He says $5 billion will go toward projects like upgrades to the Soo Locks, Detroit Metro Airport, and internet connectivity.

“We can grow our economy and support good paying jobs and harness the talent here in Michigan by making these investments that deploy people during the build out but also lay the foundation for economic activity and opportunity going forward because people, families, companies want to invest in places where infrastructure is strong,” Gilchrist said Thursday.

The federal money has underpinned infrastructure work in Michigan as state lawmakers have struggled to reach an agreement with the governor’s office on road funding.

Gilchrist, a Democrat, said he hopes to reach a deal with the incoming Legislature when his party takes control next session.

“I don’t want to presuppose any specific ideas on that, but I do think it resets the conversation that we’ve been trying to have for four years and weren’t able to reach that consensus,” Gilchrist said.

He's also leaving the door open for further state spending under the current, Republican-led Legislature, before the new Legislative session begins next year — though the Republican leadership has cast doubt on any major laws being passed during that time.