Two of Rep. Phil Green’s major initiatives to help the Thumb – teacher retention and improved rural broadband – will receive additional resources through a budget plan approved by the Michigan Legislature.
The measures are expected to be signed by the governor soon.
The teacher retention program encourages newcomers to stay in the profession by offering a one-time ‘new teacher’ stipend of up to $1,500 for educators in the first three years of their careers.
“Especially in rural school districts like we have in Huron and Tuscola counties, we must encourage new teachers to enter the profession,” said Green, of Millington. “This program will help. It shows the state’s appreciation and thanks to new teachers while also providing a better financial incentive to enter a profession so important to the future of our children and our communities.”
Green’s work to improve broadband internet access in the Thumb also continues. The budget provides more than $14 million for a grant program to expand broadband internet connectivity to underserved rural areas of the state.
“In this day and age, good internet access is a necessity for education, healthcare and most workplaces – not to mention all the other ways it reaches our daily lives,” Green said. “Expanding broadband is incredibly important to the Thumb’s economy and quality of life – that’s what I continue to fight for it. This budget represents a victory for our communities.”
In a separate vote today, Green supported House Bill 4288 – which establishes the grant program to distribute the broadband funding included in the budget
The budget plan – contained in House Bill 5396 and Senate Bill 927 – advances to the governor for her consideration. House Bill 4288 advances to the Senate for further consideration.
“My colleagues and I have tried to work with the governor to improve the state’s COVID-19 response from the very beginning,” Green said. “We’re still working, and the measures we approved today will help Thumb residents and their families in all sorts of ways.
Rep. Green talks about a House vote this week to approve the distribution of nearly $2.9 billion in federal funding to help unemployed Michigan residents support their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure approved by the Michigan House will provide an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits retroactive to Aug. 1.