Michigan Senate Approves $2 Billion in COVID-19 Relief Funding
The Michigan Senate approved nearly $2 billion in COVID-19 relief funding Thursday.
“These measures responsibly invest billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 funding to meet the most critical needs facing Michigan families right now — more people getting vaccines, more testing and getting more students safely back in their classrooms,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas in a statement. “The Senate has now approved roughly $6 billion in COVID-19 relief to improve access to lifesaving vaccines while also supporting our front-line workers, students, small businesses and people trying to make ends meet.
“We must be smart in how we use this federal assistance to maximize the benefits to everyone in our state. To ensure we effectively use this vital relief throughout the pandemic, we are sending out nearly $2 billion in relief immediately and setting aside additional resources to be accessed as funding needs come up.”
Senate Bill 114 includes funding to meet the goals of ensuring healthier families and communities, such as:
- $110 million in additional support for vaccine distribution. $36.7 million is dedicated to improving the vaccine rollout. The rest of the funds will be held in reserve until vaccine doses are available and the governor’s plan is completed.
- $150 million to increase pay for direct care workers on the front lines of fighting the virus in hospitals and nursing homes.
- $185 million for COVID-19 testing, including $75 million to increase virus testing for students, teachers and staff in order to help in-person learning resume statewide as soon as possible. The funding also includes $25 million for nursing home testing.
- $283 million in emergency rental assistance.
SB 29 includes $1.2 billion to help build a healthier future and includes:
- A minimum of $450 per pupil to tackle learning loss associated with school closures.
- $179 million to support summer school .
- $5.9 million to reimburse parents for costs associated with summer school
- $20 million for student mental health services.
- $11.7 million for benchmark assessments in reading and math.
- $87 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) grants for nonpublic schools.
Senate bills 29 and 114 now head to the House of Representatives.
The Senate is also working on House Bill 4047, which includes over $590 million in funding for the state’s economy.