President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate funding for something called the Essential Air Service program.
The EAS began in 1978 to make sure small, remote communities had access to air travel. The federal subsidies help keep them open.
The cost of the program has risen in recent years, to roughly $283 million last year. Critics say it’s too much money for an antiquated program that only benefits a few people each year.
Michigan has more communities in the Essential Air Service than any other state except Alaska: Nine communities.
All but one of those nine communities are located in the Northern Michigan First Congressional District, represented by Republican Congressman Jack Bergman. Rep. Bergman joined Stateside to talk about why this program is important to Michigan, and what would happen if the funding were eliminated.