Gov. Gretchen Whitmer must take more steps toward reopening Michigan’s economy before the Legislature can have meaningful conversations about the next steps in allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds, House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert said today.
The Whitmer administration’s most recent extended order shutting down parts of the state’s economy is set to expire after Jan. 15. Restaurant workers and others still have no idea if they’ll be able to return to work or what criteria the governor might use to decide whether she will extend her latest ‘pause’ on indoor dining and other activities for a third time.
“I can’t envision starting conversations about how to allocate additional federal COVID-19 relief funds until the governor shows more willingness to restore the economy and a sense of normalcy,” said Albert, of Lowell. “It’s difficult to properly allocate relief funds when the governor still has not informed Michiganders when or under what conditions we can have our freedoms back. What Michigan needs is clarity and hope, and we’re not getting either from the governor.”
Albert reiterated that the best way to help Michigan families is to safely and fully reopen the state – and the Legislature should be a full partner with the governor in those decisions.
“People are tired of our state government’s response to COVID hinging on one person. That’s not how state government is supposed to operate – and for good reason, because centralized authority doesn’t work,” Albert said. “Just look at the problems with our unemployment benefits system – including the governor’s veto last month that takes away additional financial support from thousands of Michiganders. COVID in our nursing homes, schools forced to close against the wishes of their parents, the refusal to extend property tax relief to families and businesses who need it – the list goes on and on.
“Enough is enough. As the 101st Legislature prepares to convene next week, I am counting on the governor to be a full partner with lawmakers as mandated by our Constitution. I fully intend to employ the checks and balances required in our system of government. We will not simply hand over billions of taxpayer dollars to extend the current way of governing.”
Rep. Thomas Albert, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, issued a statement today after the governor vetoed Senate Bills 29 and 114. The measures included $405 million to support struggling job providers, $150 million to support the unemployment system, $10 million to help families cover costs of summer school tutoring and transportation, and $87 million […]
Rep. Thomas Albert, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, today led the chamber’s reapproval of more than $650 million in specifically targeted COVID-19 relief that the governor recently vetoed. The House again approved $405 million to support struggling job providers and the families that depend on them through an afflicted business survival program. The measures […]
Rep. Albert, the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, talks about Wednesday’s House vote to restore $650 million in COVID assistance for Michigan’s school kids and small businesses that was vetoed by Governor Whitmer Tuesday.
Rep. Albert, the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, says the Governor’s vetoes Tuesday of large portions of COVID relief for hurting Michiganders, send the message that she does not care if people’s livelihoods do not survive the pandemic.