Michigan House approves $483 million COVID relief bill

Bill includes $220 million to extend unemployment benefits

Lansing Capitol Building

The Michigan House announced Monday morning it has approved a $483 million COVID-19 relief bill that was passed by the Senate on Friday night.

According to the House, the bill includes:

  • $64 million in small business survival relief
  • $220 million to extend unemployment benefits
  • $45 million in direct payments to workers who have been impacted by the virus
  • $75 million for hospitals and healthcare workers,
  • $22 million for increased testing
  • $57 million for vaccine distribution

That adds up to $483 million in relief.

“This budget bill provides critical support to the workers and small, family businesses who have been left behind by their government and extends a lifeline right when they need it the most,” reads a statement from House Speaker Lee Chatfield. “People are worried about the effects of the latest shutdown and what it means for their families. We are listening and looking for ways to help. Of course, the best way to help people is to follow the science and safely and securely reopen Michigan’s schools and small businesses. Until that happens, we will continue to fight for the people we represent, support working families with our votes and ensure everyone can continue to make ends meet.”

On Friday night, the Michigan Senate passed a $465 million version of the bill. The Senate voted 35-2 to approve Senate Bill 748.

Here is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s statement Monday:

“I proposed this stimulus plan to the legislature in November because I know how much our families, frontline workers, and small businesses need relief as we head into the winter. This bipartisan relief bill will provide families and businesses the support they need to stay afloat as we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eradicate COVID-19 once and for all. There is still more work to do to beat this virus and grow our economy. All Michiganders have a personal responsibility to do their part and mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where the virus can easily spread from person to person. And I urge everyone who is still doing last-minute holiday shopping to buy local to support your favorite businesses and restaurants.

Of course, we still need our leaders in Washington to work together on behalf of states like Michigan. Congress is expected to pass a relief bill today that includes stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, rental and eviction relief, money for schools and small business loans. This is a good start, but we need Washington to continue working to provide federal funding to states to fund crucial services like police and fire, emergency responders, Medicaid, higher education, and more. These services could face cuts without help from the federal government. I will continue holding our leaders in Washington accountable.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. As we continue working to eliminate this virus, I urge all Michiganders to be smart and stay safe. We will get through this when we continue working together.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Read more: Michigan’s new COVID-19 order now in effect: Here’s what’s reopened and what’s still closed

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.