Rep. Triston Cole today renewed his efforts to help northern Michigan communities and law enforcement agencies receive federal support related to COVID-19.
Cole is asking Gov. Whitmer to help ensure funding to support virus response reaches rural Michigan – not just state government agencies and the state’s five largest municipalities. In particular, Cole is fighting for hazard pay for local law enforcement on the front lines during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I have heard the concerns of our sheriff’s departments and others put in harm’s way while working to protect us every single day,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “COVID-19 doesn’t care where you live – it does not recognize geographic boundaries. It does not matter what uniform our law enforcement heroes wear when they put themselves at risk for us. All local first responders and emergency service personnel should have access to additional compensation or ‘hazard’ pay as they fight on the front lines during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Cole’s comments serve as a follow-up to a letter he sent the Whitmer administration in April.
The federal CARES Act, which was approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in late March, is meant to assist states and residents in mitigating the negative health and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. To this point, only the state and its five largest municipalities have received the help necessary to offer hazard pay to frontline workers.
Cole said the federal legislation relies on the state to distribute reimbursements to less populated communities for response activities. He is continuing his efforts to ensure that funding reaches northern Michigan and other rural parts of the state in conjunction with the Legislature and the governor’s administration.
“All communities must share in this emergency federal funding to properly reward the hard work of first responders across our entire state,” Cole said.
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