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    With an economic stimulus package in the works, Michigan is doing all it can to ensure funding is received and put into projects shortly thereafter.

    Governor Granholm plans on submitting "shovel-ready" projects to the Obama administration by January 30th. These projects would be funded by the expected $2.6 billion state economic recovery package. "Shovel-ready" projects are those that will be started within 180 days of receiving the funding, create or preserve jobs, and will be completed within two years. These projects can include everything from road and bridge construction to improvements to public school buildings and libraries.

    . Aside from developing shovel ready projects, Michigan congressional leaders have also contacted President Obama, with the hopes of increasing the funding sent to Michigan. In a recent letter to the Obama administration, all 15 of Michigan's House members and both Michigan Senators requested additional funding be sent to Michigan for the development of advanced technology automobiles and parts. While $25 billion was already allocated for this program back in September, the letter asked that an additional $25 billion in government loans to improve factories that make advanced technology vehicles.

    The letter to President Obama also addressed Michigan's high unemployment level. Congressional leaders asked the President to provide additional funding to states that have the highest unemployment levels. The additional funding would help the states sustain economic development and social services, while they are spending money on unemployment.

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) have already submitted 5,000 projects that are ready to go as soon as they receive funding. Of these projects, 208 ($1.75 billion in spending) are in Michigan. Several Michigan legislators are currently seeking information from constituents about "shovel-ready" projects or ideas. With the potential for the stimulus package to be passed very soon, interest groups and municipalities throughout the state continue to push for their projects to receive funding.

    Here is a list of projects supported by the Michigan Municipal League. The Michigan Association of Townships is also accepting project suggestions, but focuses its efforts on ensuring smaller townships are not left out of the stimulus money received.


    Sources:
    "Mich. Delegation presses Obama to help state" Detroit News.
    American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
    "Michigan looking for "shovel-ready" stimulus projects" Sootoday.com
    Office of Senator Carl Levin

    Urban Affairs - National News

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    Michael Raley is a fourth year Sociology and Public Administration/Public Policy student at Michigan State University. He is especially interested in the public policy, politics, and sociology of urban space, as well as transportation systems and public transit. A native of the Grand Rapids area, Michael is currently an intern in the office of State Representative Roy Schmidt, who represents the west and northeast sides of the city. He also aspires to pursue a career in urban and regional planning, and hopes to attend graduate school for such a course of study.