FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, Feb. 1, 2021
Contact: Stephanie Cepak, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, 517-862-2036, firstname.lastname@example.org
MI House Democrats unveil pandemic recovery plan, call for vote
House Democrats want vote on $5 billion in federal stimulus dollars
LANSING — Michigan House Democrats today unveiled a plan that would immediately unleash $5 billion in federal dollars to help Michigan workers, small businesses, families and schools impacted most by the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Twp., called on legislative Republicans to stop holding hostage the funding critical to Michigan’s recovery from the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 virus doesn’t care about politics, yet legislative Republicans continue blocking pandemic relief with a list of political demands,” said Lasinski. “Michigan’s stimulus dollars are just sitting there, waiting to be deployed to people in need across the state. That is not what the people of the state of Michigan want or need. House Democrats are ready to take a vote on pandemic recovery that will put federal stimulus dollars to work immediately for those in need across our state.”
Specifics of the supplemental appropriations bills, sponsored by Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, include:
- $90 million for vaccine distribution throughout Michigan so we can get more shots into people’s arms.
- $575 million to expand COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and lab capacity.
- $2.1 billion in food assistance.
- $661 million to help with rental assistance and winter utility bills.
- $2 billion for Michigan’s public schools.
- $270 million for small-business relief.
- Language that would extend unemployment assistance from 20 to 26 weeks.
“This bill simply gets all of Michigan’s federal stimulus dollars into the hands of Michigan residents,” said Tate, Democratic vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “We can take an up or down vote on this and get people relief immediately. These are real dollars. This is real relief.”
“As a member of the Health Policy Committee and a breast cancer survivor, I know how we handle the ongoing pandemic is a matter of life or death,” said Rep. Christine Morse, D-Portage. “We know the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is the only way for our state and our economy to recover. The shot in the arm our economy needs is directly related to the number of shots going into people’s arms. We need faster vaccine delivery and approving this bill will make that happen.”
“Small mom-and-pop businesses in my district and across Michigan need assistance now,” said Rep. Kelly Breen, D-Novi. “As a mother of two, I know providing in-person learning options for students must be handled safely and effectively. Getting teachers and support staff vaccinated is crucial to ensuring a safe return to in-person learning. We need to get stimulus dollars to schools to help navigate in-person and remote learning until we get out of the pandemic.”
“This pandemic recovery plan includes $575 million in federal stimulus to expand COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and lab capacity,” said Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia. “As new variants of COVID-19 emerge, we must continue to be diligent in our testing and tracing of this virus and use the data to make informed public health decisions.”