U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today made the following statement regarding the commitment to remove a provision in the U.S. Senate’s transportation bill that would have eliminated $1.7 billion from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. The Hardest Hit Fund allows cities across the country to invest in blight removal efforts and help homeowners. If this provision had passed, funding for blight removal in cities throughout Michigan would have been significantly cut. ‘I’m pleased to say that there is a commitment from Senate Republican leadership to remove a provision that would have taken money away from Michigan families and neighborhoods to pay for a federal highway bill,’ said Senator Stabenow. ‘It is outrageous to expect that cities all across Michigan would lose critical funds they were promised and may have already spent. Fixing our roads and bridges is essential, but not at the expense of making our neighborhoods safer.’
‘I believe Congress must pass a long-term highway bill, but Michigan communities trying to rebuild their neighborhoods should not have to bear the burden of fixing America’s infrastructure,’ Senator Peters said. ‘The Hardest Hit Fund have helped cities across Michigan increase safety and maintain home values, in turn leading to greater private investment in their communities. I strongly oppose the provision in the highway bill cutting the Hardest Hit Fund and was proud to work with Senator Stabenow and my colleagues in the Senate to ensure Michigan cities that are bouncing back from the economic crisis are not at a disadvantage as they work to revitalize their neighborhoods.’
Cities at risk of losing blight removal funds include Detroit, Adrian, Ecorse, Flint, Grand Rapids, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Inkster, Ironwood, Jackson, Lansing, Muskegon Heights, Pontiac, Port Huron, River Rouge, and Saginaw.
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