Gov. Snyder signs bills investing in Detroit, region

Michigan governor signs regional transit, lighting authority, Ilitch's entertainment complex legislation into law


DETROIT – Gov. Snyder and Detroit Mayor Bing held a bill signing press conference in Detroit's Central Business District.

The governor signed four legislations during the press conference on Wednesday.

Read: Snyder signs right-to-work bills into law.

He put his signature on bills creating a regional transit, a lighting authority in Detroit, and he also signed a bill allowing funds to be captured to help build a new sports and entertainment complex in the city.

In a release the governor's office called the bills, "a significant investment in city and region."

Lighting authority:

The signed bill will now allow Detroit and some other cities to establish public authorities to run their lighting systems.

In a statement Detroit Mayor Bing previously said "I am extremely pleased that we are one step closer to implementing my Administration's comprehensive public lighting strategy for the City of Detroit.  We will be able to move forward with solving a generations-old lighting problem that hinders public safety and quality of life for the citizens of Detroit."

The city will appoint members to the new authority.

"The first thing we need to do is get the right people to come to the table," said Bing during the press conference.

The mayor said getting the lights back on in the city will be done in phases, and he said the city hopes to start phase 1 sometimes in 2013.

"The whole grid system needs to be changed," he said.

The endeavor will take three years to complete according to the mayor.

During another press conference Wednesday, Bing announced 10 initiatives designed to bring in about $50 million to the struggling city of Detroit.

The revenue enhancements were detailed at City Hall during a press conference with Bing and his Chief Financial Officer, Jack Martin.

Uncut video: Detroit mayor goes over revenue plans.

Ilitch's entertainment complex:

The Ilitch organization supported House Bill 5463, allowing the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to continue capturing existing funds that would support a catalytic development in Detroit.

Snyder signed the bill allowing funds to be used with Mike Ilitch's proposed $650-million to build a sports and entertainment complex in the city.

Ilitch's proposal includes retail, shopping, housing and a new events center which would serve as a new arena for the Red Wings.

The bill now gives the organization a leg up on the proposal.

Regional transit authority:

The bill creating a regional transit authority was 40 years in the making.

The legislation only received one Democratic vote in the House.

There were 24 prior attempts to pass the bill before today's signature.

Gov. Snyder citied the many counties who came together to help formulate the new plan.

Eastern Market:

Another signed bill will give funding to Eastern Market to expand Shed 5 while helping locally made food products.

Snyder and Bing were joined by lawmakers and other government, community and business leaders for the news conference held on Woodward near Campus Martius.

Michigan passed 282 bills during the last few weeks of lame duck legislative sessions.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation aimed at helping military veterans gain employment in the electrician and plumbing fields.

The governor's office said that Snyder signed measures to require experience gained through military service to be taken into account when being considered for licenses in those fields

Read: Snyder signs bills about veterans, prescriptions.

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