Democratic Legislators Introduce Bills to Protect Michiganders from Devastating Flooding

LANSING, Mich. (Nov. 12, 2021) — This week, Democratic state senators and representatives introduced legislation that would help Michiganders affected by extreme, more frequent weather events caused by climate change. Massive storms, flooding, and power outages over the past few years have illustrated a clear need for investments in jobs, weatherization, and infrastructure upgrades and bold policy changes in order to better protect Michigan residents.

“Too many Michiganders have lost furnaces, water heaters, cars, and cherished mementos due to basement flooding, dam breaks, and intense storms,” said Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “The bills that we are introducing are bold, commonsense policies to ensure Michigan becomes climate-resilient so that when my daughters grow up, they won’t have to deal with the devastating impacts of these severe weather events.”

Identical legislation in the House and Senate would do the following:

The bill package also includes Senate Bill 593, sponsored by Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills), which establishes a framework for local municipalities to develop their own stormwater utility system — but does not require them to do so — and for them to collect a stormwater utility fee accordingly. The bill was introduced in July and sent to the Senate Committee on Local Government.

“Michigan is now prepared with resources to address climate resiliency, putting us on path to a sustainable, successful future, in which we can retain and attract new economic energy to the state,” said Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids). “Upgrading our infrastructure will create quality jobs and opportunity for our state that will position us for success, now and for emerging generations of Michiganders.”

“Our bills will help Michigan residents in so many ways — increasing energy affordability for low-income families, creating good jobs, improving our environment, and remediating harmful substances like lead and asbestos,” said Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo).

“Our communities across the state have felt the devastating effects that more severe weather, which is becoming an unfortunate norm, has had on their homes, businesses and livelihoods,” said Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck). “This legislation will help forge a future in which our infrastructure can absorb the brunt of severe storms and protect residents, like those in Hamtramck and Detroit, in the way they deserve.”

This legislation is part of the Climate Resilience Plan unveiled by Democratic senators and representatives in August and coincides with the deadline for affected residents to apply for flooding assistance from FEMA. The legislators continue to work with environmental, labor, government, and community stakeholders on more bills as part of the Climate Resilience Plan.

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