LANSING, Mich. - Lawmakers confronting the cost of Flint's water crisis and the Detroit school district's enormous debt are also being asked for an initial $165 million deposit to upgrade aging underground infrastructure across Michigan.
It's not just the lead pipes that eventually need replacing. Water mains, sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants, the electricity grid, energy pipelines, and telecommunications infrastructure will require improvements, too.
At Gov. Rick Snyder's request, the Legislature is considering the state's obligation to help modernize such "hidden" infrastructure.
In the wake of Flint's lead contamination, the Republican governor wants to create a Michigan Infrastructure Fund — seeded with a proposed $165 million.
The budget proposal is among the most significant issues to be resolved in coming weeks, when lawmakers plan to finalize a $55 billion spending plan.
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