Senate District 1 Updates

Senator Chang

Friends,

Last week, we finalized a budget that makes historic investments in our state for Fiscal Year 2023. I’m proud to say that this budget prioritizes education, infrastructure improvements, public health, and workforce development for Michiganders. This email includes highlights from the budget, as well as other important updates.


WHAT THE DOBBS DECISION MEANS FOR MICHIGAN

As you are likely aware, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the fundamental and constitutional right to safe, legal abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. Without a constitutional right to abortion, it is up to states to determine the reproductive rights of people who can become pregnant. In Michigan, there is a 1931 law on the books criminalizing abortion that could take effect. However, a temporary injunction has been granted at the request of Governor Whitmer and while abortion is currently legal in Michigan, the injunction is not a long-term solution and action must be taken to repeal the antiquated 1931 law. I sponsored a bill in our legislative package to accomplish this along with Senators Bayer, Geiss, and Brinks. I also support efforts to enshrine reproductive freedom in our state constitution.


I-94 CLOSURE

Due to more construction on I-94, there is an expected closure of the freeway within the next few months. Near Wayne State on I-94, a bridge is undergoing construction off to the south side of the highway. The closure is estimated to occur at some point between mid-July and early August and will span seven miles, from M-10 to I-75. When more detailed information becomes available, we will be sure to send it out as soon as we receive it. If you would like to learn more, bridge replacement and closure information is available at this link. You can find more information about the overall modernization project here.


GORDIE HOWE INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE ROAD CLOSURES

As construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge continues, there will be a few road closures and detours to keep in mind while traveling.

Clark Street – Northbound or southbound Clark Street will close between Fort Street and the southbound I-75 Service Drive from June 20 until Sept. 9, 2022. Northbound or southbound Clark Street will close south of Fort Street from June 20 until Sept. 9, 2022.

Fort Street – The right lane and parking lane of westbound Fort Street will close between Wheelock Street and Beard Street from June 22 to July 11, 2022. Eastbound or westbound Fort Street will close at Clark Street from June 20 until Sept. 9, 2022. The existing mobile closure on Fort Street between Springwells Street and Clark Street will remain in place until Dec. 23, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, as needed.

Junction Street – Junction Street road bridge between the northbound and southbound I-75 Service Drives will be closed for a long-term period. Drivers will be detoured to Fort Street, which has been fully reopened to traffic.

Click here for more information on future closures and Gordie Howe International Bridge construction updates.


BELLE ISLE IMPROVEMENTS

After being abandoned about 15 years ago, the ruins of the old Zoo on Belle Isle are finally going to be repurposed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. New use of the land will be yet another great improvement for the Belle Isle community. If you would like to share your thoughts with the MDNR about how the site is used, you may do so by taking a survey at this link. The survey will be open until Friday, July 8, 2022 at 5 p.m. EST, so be sure to submit your input as soon as possible. 


LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Bill to Strengthen Michigan’s Ports Heads to Governor’s Desk

I led the development of bipartisan bills to enhance our maritime economy in Michigan and create jobs. I am excited that several of the bills are now headed to the governor’s desk for her signature.

Senate Bill 744 is my bill that will help Michigan’s ports to grow and better compete with surrounding states in a sustainable manner while creating jobs and easing supply chain issues. This bill will lead to the creation of a grant program to support ports achieving green marine certification, upgrading port infrastructure, and allow for greater port activity in a sustainable manner.

Governor Whitmer and Lawmakers Reach Budget Deal

On Thursday, June 30, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers of the Michigan House and Senate reached an agreement on the state’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget. I was proud to vote yes on the budget bills. Both bills passed with wide bipartisan support in each chamber. The $76.7 billion budget, with $19.6 billion from the School Aid Fund and $15.3 billion from the General Fund, will help grow Michigan’s economy and workforce, make record investments in every student and classroom, protect public health and public safety, expand mental health resources, and empower working families and communities.  

In addition to prioritizing funding for our students, schools, public health, natural resources, and communities, the FY23 budget pays down $2.6 billion in debt while still setting money aside for a rainy day. It makes a $180 million deposit into the Budget Stabilization Fund and leaves about $7 billion ($3.8 billion in the General Fund and $3.3 billion in the School Aid Fund) for the administration and legislative leaders to continue conversations around tax cuts. The leftover money is a mix of one-time surplus dollars and ongoing funding. 

Some other funding highlights of the FY23 budget are a 5% increase in ongoing revenue sharing with a 1% one-time increase, and a record $450 per-pupil increase in the K-12 foundation allowance, bringing the total to $9,150 per student. 

Other school investments include: $305 million in scholarship funding for students in public and private teacher preparation programs to earn teaching certificates; $175 million allocated for grow-your-own programs that will support current school employees in earning a teaching certificate; $50 million for stipends for student teachers to help pay for tuition and other costs while student teaching; $300 million for school mental health programs, and $25 million for before and after school programs. 

Both community colleges and universities would see a 5% increase in operations funding, $750 million toward local government debt relief, and $180 million deposited into the Budget Stabilization Fund.

This year’s budget heavily invests in natural resources, environmental health, and our people. The budget provides $48 million for additional lead line replacement, $23 million for grants for energy efficiency infrastructure and policies, $15.4 million for drinking water programs, and $500,000 to support the disposal of firefighting foam containing PFAS.

Additional investments include $75 million for addressing blight in our communities, $1.92 billion toward special education resources, $40 million for Pure Michigan, and $56 million to train nurses and build up Michigan’s health care system. 

Budget investments in and around Senate District 1 include: 

  • $100 million for Wayne State University’s Karmanos Cancer Institute
  • $40 million for the Joe Louis Greenway
  • $12 million for railroad projects in Wayne County to help improve traffic flow
  • $6 million for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  • $1 million for Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority’s Decarbonization Planning
  • $1 million for Focus: HOPE
  • $500,000 for National Association of Yemeni Americans community services grant
  • $500,000 for the Downtown Boxing Gym
  • And much more!


UPCOMING EVENTS

Ice Cream Social
Friday, July 8 from 2-3 PM
Bob Jo’s Frozen Custard, 4071 Quarry Road, Wyandotte, MI 48192

>> If you’re unable to join us in person, you can join us online at Facebook.com/StephanieChangMI.

Coffee Hour with Detroit City Council Member Gabriela Santiago-Romero
Friday, July 22 from 3-4 PM
Clark Park, 1130 Clark Ave., Detroit, MI 48209

>> If you’re unable to join us in person, you can join us online at Facebook.com/StephanieChangMI.

Thank you for reading this update. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-7346 if we can assist you in any way.       


Take care,    

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Stephanie Chang
State Senator
District 1


More news:

Upcoming Coffee Hours, Legislative Update, and Resources Sens. Chang, Moss Introduce Bills to Protect Residents during Elevator Outages Upcoming Coffee Hours, Legislative Update, and Resources

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