LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Wednesday supported a supplemental budget bill to use $524 million in available federal funding to help Michigan families, workers and schools affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The people of Oakland and Genesee counties been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, and we owe it to them during this crisis to ensure they can support their families and have the resources necessary to protect themselves and their communities,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “This legislation would put federal CARES Act funding to good use protecting our front-line health care workers, supporting our dedicated first responders, teaching our children, and assisting those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Senate Bill 690 would provide $11 million for the Unemployment Insurance Agency to immediately hire more staff to help unemployed Michigan workers; $2.5 million in assistance to hospitality workers who may not be eligible for full unemployment benefits; $50 million for additional testing supplies and personal protective equipment for workers at nursing, home health and day care facilities; and $45 million for at-home learning, summer education and assessment support for schools.
“As a result of the crisis and the governor’s stay-at-home orders, Michigan is facing an enormous budget deficit this year, and it’s critical we use our state resources wisely and efficiently,” Johnson said. “Thankfully, this coronavirus support is entirely from federal relief funding, which would allow us to make these important investments and also protect limited state taxpayer dollars for vital services Michigan families use and rely on every day.”
SB 690 would also provide $100 million in bonus pay for local first responders, $125 million to reduce child care costs for essential workers, $12 million for food processors to ensure Michigan’s food supply remains safe and operational, and $178 million to temporarily increase pay by $3 per hour for direct care workers — including those caring for seniors in nursing facilities.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.