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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Whitmer urges Legislature to appropriate federal COVID-19 funds as soon as possible

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Posted at 9:59 AM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 17:34:38-05

(WSYM) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer urged the state Legislature to appropriate federal government dollars given to Michigan for COVID-19 relief.

In a press conference Tuesday, Whitmer said these dollars are needed for vaccines, education and struggling businesses.

"We need Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to appropriate these dollars as quickly as possible," Whitmer said.

"Delaying efforts to fully appropriate these resources and leaving dollars on the table threatens the progress we have made to date."

If the dollars aren't appropriated fast enough, Whitmer said, recovery could take longer and vaccinations could decline.

Whitmer previously announced a massive recovery plan that would appropriate $5 billion worth of federal dollars to "jumpstart" Michigan's economy.

Michigan House and Senate Republicans have also come up with recovery plans that have a lower price tag. Both the House and the Senate have described the governor's proposed plan as a "blank check."

However, Whitmer warned that not appropriating the funds undermines the ability to keep Michigan at the "top of the list" for supply chain as the state is addressing needs for COVID-19.

"The Legislature has so much ability to be a partner here and to oversee how the dollars are being spent," Whitmer said. "This isn't about me, this is about the people of Michigan."