Rep. Bronna Kahle today voted to approve the distribution of $880 million in federal funding to help Michigan rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure approved by the Michigan House includes $4 million for organizations supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault – a provision Kahle championed and helped secure. The support will provide personal protective equipment, telehealth, temporary housing and other services.
Senate Bill 690 also will help Michigan residents impacted by the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, directing relief funds to get workers the unemployment benefits they are counting on, assist small businesses restarting after the COVID-19 shutdown, help students and schools, and support front-line workers.
“COVID-19 has affected the people of Lenawee County and the entire state of Michigan in countless ways,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “Many people are hurting and this measure will help as we safely and sensibly resume our lives and livelihoods.
“Survivors of domestic violence, laid-off workers struggling to get the benefits they need to feed their families, students working hard to stay connected through distance learning – all of these and more will benefit from this support. We continue to work together to help move Michigan forward as we look to brighter days ahead.”
The federal assistance is designed solely to help states cover additional costs incurred by COVID-19. Senate Bill 690 next returns to the Senate for further consideration. Highlights include:
• Support for small businesses. The measure includes $100 million for a ‘restart’ grant program to help job providers and their employees get back on their feet. Eligible businesses must have 50 or fewer workers, with assistance capped at $20,000 per business. The money can be used for payroll, rent, personal protective equipment and similar expenses.
• Support for first responders and health care providers. The measure will help local governments continue to pay public safety and public health personnel. It also helps provide hazard pay to law enforcement, firefighters, corrections officers, emergency medical service providers and others in communities across Michigan while continuing supplemental pay for public health workers providing direct care during the pandemic. The legislation also will help health care providers and the agricultural industry stock up on personal protective equipment. Funding is included to conduct infection control surveys in nursing homes, where one-third of Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred.
• Support for Michigan workers and families. The measure includes $29 million to help boost staffing and improve technology at the Unemployment Insurance Agency, which has failed Michigan workers in their time of need. It also supports family and health care needs by helping with rent and utility payments, child care providers, food banks and other programs.