LANSING, Mich. – In a letter addressed to Michigan legislative leaders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for three pieces of major legislation -- a $100 million state-based stimulus package, permanent extension to unemployment benefits and more public health measures.
View here: Whitmer’s letter to Legislature
Whitmer has repeatedly asked the White House for federal help with a response. Republican leaders said they spoke with President Donald Trump directly about COVID-19 relief at the White House last week but declined to give specifics about the details. Whitmer said the $100 million she is asking for would go directly to families and struggling small businesses. She does not mention whether the package could impact taxes.
“While we must continue to advocate for meaningful support from the federal government, we simply cannot afford to wait,” Whitmer writes, adding that she knows the state will be facing a billion-dollar shortfall next year and there will be limited funds to go around.
Republicans in the state Legislature have also been reluctant about extending unemployment benefits, which run out at the end of the year, and have refused to engage the governor on a statewide mask order.
The letter is the first public attempt to appeal to legislative leaders directly with concrete measures. However, with only a handful of days left in the legislative session, time is running out.
It’s unclear whether lawmakers plan to take up the requests when they return to work Tuesday. Whitmer’s letter also comes in the final week of her three-week COVID-19 restriction order. An extension of that order is unclear and will likely be part of any negotiations on a stimulus plan as we head into the final month of 2020.
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