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Gov. Whitmer signs bill to use federal funding for COVID-19 response

Posted at 2:18 PM, Jul 01, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill on Monday that appropriates federal funding to support actions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Senate Bill 690 aims to assist Michigan in it's response, help affected small businesses, and ensure adequate compensation for frontline workers.

Changes include:

- A $2/hour increase for direct care workers

- $125 million in grant funding to reduce the cost of child care for families

- $100 million for hazard pay for local first responders and $200 million for local units of government

- $100 million in small business restart grants

- $60 million in rental assistance and eviction diversion

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- $25 million for wireless hotspots and enhanced connectivity

- $18 million for health and safety grants for schools

- $10 million in MIOSHA grants for protections to keep workers safe on the job

- $14 million for food banks and domestic violence shelters

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“I was pleased to sign this bill to put more federal funding to work across our state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Between the signing of this bill today and the recent agreement on the 2020 budget announced earlier this week, we have now put the full amount of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to use so that Michiganders can reap the full benefit of our federal funding. Now, we need Congress to act later this month and provide additional aid to the states so that we can begin to address the budget shortfall in 2021.”

The budget will fund a $60 million eviction diversion program developed by the governor and the Supreme Court Administrative Office. The program aims to keep renters in their homes by ensuring lump-sum back payments for landlords, while giving renters a fresh start. The program will be implemented with the help of local aid organizations and stakeholders.

“We applaud our Governor and legislators for working together to secure funding and create programming for what we believe is crucial to the health and safety of our state - keeping vulnerable Michiganders in their homes,” said Eric Hufnagel, Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness Executive Director. “With this support, our communities will keep thousands of families that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19 from the painful experience of eviction and homelessness.”

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