Michigan House approves COVID relief funding, Speaker calls out Governor

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)–Republican leadership in the Michigan House announced today they’ve given final approval to a supplemental budget bill to provide COVID-related relief to Michigan residents.

According to Gideon DAssandro, Press Secrarary for Speaker of the house Lee Chatfield, the bill includes $64 million in small business survival relief, $220 million to extend unemployment benefits, $45 million in direct payments to workers who have been impacted by the virus, $75 million for hospitals and healthcare workers, $22 million for increased testing, and $57 million for vaccine distribution.

“This budget bill provides critical support to the workers and small, family businesses who have been left behind by their government and extends a lifeline right when they need it the most,” said Speaker Chatfield. “People are worried about the effects of the latest shutdown and what it means for their families. We are listening and looking for ways to help. Of course, the best way to help people is to follow the science and safely and securely reopen Michigan’s schools and small businesses. Until that happens, we will continue to fight for the people we represent, support working families with our votes and ensure everyone can continue to make ends meet.”

Governor Whitmer released the following statement on the legislation this morning:

“I proposed this stimulus plan to the legislature in November because I know how much our families, frontline workers, and small businesses need relief as we head into the winter. This bipartisan relief bill will provide families and businesses the support they need to stay afloat as we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eradicate COVID-19 once and for all. There is still more work to do to beat this virus and grow our economy. All Michiganders have a personal responsibility to do their part and mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where the virus can easily spread from person to person. And I urge everyone who is still doing last-minute holiday shopping to buy local to support your favorite businesses and restaurants. “

“Of course, we still need our leaders in Washington to work together on behalf of states like Michigan. Congress is expected to pass a relief bill today that includes stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, rental and eviction relief, money for schools and small business loans. This is a good start, but we need Washington to continue working to provide federal funding to states to fund crucial services like police and fire, emergency responders, Medicaid, higher education, and more. These services could face cuts without help from the federal government. I will continue holding our leaders in Washington accountable. 

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel. As we continue working to eliminate this virus, I urge all Michiganders to be smart and stay safe. We will get through this when we continue working together.” 

Speaker Chatfield also said:

“The coronavirus created an impossible situation, and many leaders did the best they can. But the simple truth is the state government’s uneven, inconsistent and often-politicized approach to this virus created hardship for far too many Michigan residents,” said Chatfield. “This is an important vote and an important spending plan to help families, but it is only a temporary solution. Moving forward, state government must provide better answers.

“We need a real long-term plan everyone can track, like the one House Republicans offered the governor months ago. We need real metrics that give small businesses a path to reopening if they and their communities can do it safely. We need industries without lobbyists to be treated equally with those who have a strong Lansing presence. And we need leadership at the top that understands all of these things are missing and how damaging that is to working people around the state.”

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