Gov. Whitmer asks Michigan Legislature for $100M stimulus package, more public health measures

Whitmer pens letter to Republican-controlled Legislature

Gov. Whitmer asks Legislature for $100 million stimulus for Michiganders

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.

READ: Michigan governor, state legislature far apart on COVID-19 response

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.

Stakes are higher for Metro Detroit small businesses trying to survive the pandemic

Small Business Saturday is here and the stakes are higher than ever for local businesses in the pandemic.

The state has launched a new “Support Local” campaign to help Michigan Businesses make it through the winter.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said if Michiganders switched one in every ten purchases from big box stores to local businesses, it would pump more than a billion dollars into the economy and create more than 10,000 jobs.

Click here to read more.

About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.