Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Michigan House has just passed $465 million in COVID-19 relief for Michigan residents and businesses. Most of this funding, $443 million, is from the state’s General Fund, with the remaining $21.7 million coming from federal dollars.
Some of the highlights include:
- $220 million to continue unemployment benefits for 26 weeks (as opposed to the prior limit of 20 weeks);
- More than $55 million for COVID-19 vaccine administration and planning;
- $55 million for small business survival grants;
- $45 million in employee assistance grants for workers who have been laid off because of COVID-19 business closures;
- $22.5 million for COVID-19 testing and rapid response;
- $100 million to continue $2/hour in additional pay for direct care workers;
- $15 million to hospitals and long-term care facilities for additional staffing and reimbursement for housing COVID-19 patients
- $2.5 million for hazard pay for educators left out of previous hazard payments, including Great Start Readiness Preschool teachers, special education teachers, and adult education teachers; and
- $3.5 million for entertainment venues that have not been able to hold events since March.
Senate Bill 748 passed the Senate last week, and this morning, it passed the House by a vote of 79-5. While this bill is far from perfect, I voted for it. Working families and small businesses, in particular, need help. And we have to be ready for widespread distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This bill now awaits the governor’s signature, which is expected soon.
The House also passed Senate Bill 604, which continues the extension of unemployment benefits through March 31, 2021. I voted yes for this bill.
While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team and I are still providing responsive service as we work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help.