LaSata responds to Gov. Whitmer’s water infrastructure improvement proposal

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kim LaSata on Thursday issued the following statement regarding Benton Harbor lead line replacement and the Legislature’s efforts to address the issue thus far:

“Lead line replacement is something I have been working on both in the district and in Lansing. It impacts so many communities, and it’s important that we give it our due diligence and get these repairs done correctly.

“I supported $10 million in the fiscal year 2022 budget plan for lead service line replacement for Benton Harbor. These funds would help speed up Benton Harbor’s current replacement timeline.

“In addition to this, I co-sponsored a large-scale reform that would dedicate $2.5 billion to improve and protect Michigan’s water quality, including $600 million to be used toward lead pipe replacement — three times the amount included in the governor’s proposal outlined earlier this year. The Senate plan would also include funding to protect our natural resources, upgrade wastewater and drinking water facilities, address and mitigate PFAS chemicals and ensure students have safe drinking water at school.

“The details for Senate Bill 565 are still being negotiated, but I assure everyone in the community that the remaining needs of the Benton Harbor community will be part of the conversation.

“My colleague state Sen. Ed McBroom has also reached out to Gov. Whitmer’s office requesting documents on this issue in order to conduct a review of how the situation was able to reach this point, as water quality issues are the responsibility of the governor and her administration.

“In the meantime, the top priority is making sure everyone in Benton Harbor has access to safe drinking water. I will be joining efforts to hand out water and encourage volunteers who are able to join the effort do so by clicking here to find out how you can help.

“If anyone has questions, I encourage that to contact my office at 517-373-6960 or via email at [email protected].”