Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder last week signed a series of high-profile bills that create a Detroit area regional transit authority, a lighting authority for Detroit and other cities, and advances development of a new Detroit Red Wings home.
Officials said combined the various initiatives and regional projects aided by the legislation support $8 billion in public-private investment.
"The reinvention of Michigan will not be complete without a strong Detroit," Snyder said at a ceremony signing the bills. "These significant steps will help to energize the community by encouraging job creation and improving neighborhoods. We're working in partnership to ensure a prosperous future for the city and all of southeast Michigan."
One series of bills — Senate Bills 909, 911, 912, 967 and 445 — signed by Snyder establishes the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority with Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties participating. The authority is empowered to integrate all modes of public transportation to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private investment.
Another measure signed allows Detroit to establish the Detroit Lighting Authority with the ability to finance $160 million of repairs by tapping existing utility taxes to repay borrowing.
Another piece of legislation signed last week paves the way for the Detroit Downtown Development Authority to use tax collections to help finance a $650 million development project that includes a new hockey arena for the Red Wings.
"Both the Regional Transit and Public Lighting legislation are major initiatives within my Restructuring Plan for transforming Detroit," the city's mayor, Dave Bing, said in a statement. "I am extremely pleased with the votes of approval by the legislative body on these two actions, which will lead to improved services for our citizens."