LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she believes $2,000 stimulus checks are “absolutely necessary” for struggling Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“Last month, I called on the federal government to pass a relief bill that included the $2,000 stimulus checks for Americans who are struggling to get by,” Whitmer said. “I still believe that bill is absolutely necessary.”
While many Michiganders recently received $600 stimulus checks, some believe that isn’t enough for those in need to get by.
“We’ve been very reactionary in responding to this crisis and a lot of the fixes that we have are short term,” said Linda Jordan, public health benefits attorney with the Center for Civil Justice, last month. “People have been without assistance for months and $600 is not going to go far.”
Whitmer announced Michigan residents started receiving their $300 COVID-19 unemployment bonus payments over the weekend, but doesn’t think that’s enough.
“I’m still hopeful that they will work together and get it done for Michiganders and Americans everywhere who are struggling and worried about just keeping a roof over their heads,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer has long urged legislators to permanently expand unemployment benefits for Michiganders during the pandemic.
On Wednesday, she also announced employee assistance grants will be made available for people whose employment at entertainment and recreational venues and restaurants was affected by COVID-19.
“This grant program puts dollars in the pockets of Michiganders who work in hospitality and entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food service sectors, as well as the gyms and fitness centers,” Whitmer said.
She said the program will help offset some of the financial loss for those workers due to layoffs or hours reductions.
Eligible residents can apply for one-time grants of up to $1,650.
There’s a 10-day window to apply for the grant: from Jan. 15 through Jan. 25. Click here for more details about the application process.
Applications will be processed through February, and payments will be issued in March, Whitmer said.