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Michigan legislature passes $1 billion budget supplements

Michigan lawmakers passed nearly $1 billion in supplemental spending late Tuesday afternoon.

The supplements will invest federal funds from the American Rescue Plan for COVID school testing, nursing homes, and safe drinking water.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised the bipartisan effort, signaling she’ll sign the package when it arrives on her desk.

“Today, legislative leaders came together to put Michiganders first and make another monumental investment in Michigan’s families, communities, and small businesses,” Whitmer said in a statement. “For months, we have been working together with the legislature and we have been negotiating together in good faith, finding a collaborative way to effectively spend the federal dollars sent to Michigan by the American Rescue Plan.”

The supplements would provide funding as follows:

  • $150 million for COVID school and in-person learning.
  • $140 million for rental assistance to help Michiganders stay in their homes.
  • $36.3 million to help communities tackle lead, fund water distribution, inspections, blood testing, and more.
  • $14.1 million for a Nursing Home Strike Teams grant to help older Michiganders stay safe in nursing homes.
  • $10 million to support teacher recruitment, training, development, and retention.
  • $6.9 million for Michigan State Police to help them continue protecting public safety.

“Today, we took another big step forward in finding common ground and agreement on how to spend some of those federal resources, including resources to help kids [stay] safe and learning in school, protect seniors in nursing homes, and get vaccines out the door even faster,” Whitmer said.

The governor expressed gratitude to State Budget Director Chris Harkins, Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, and Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, for shepherding the package to legislative success.

“We are coming together and doing what must be done for our state right now, while also building positive momentum for important initiatives moving forward,” Albert said. “And we are doing so while being prudent about our finances. We must always be prepared in case economic turbulence arises in the future,” Albert, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, added.

Stamas noted the supplement package “is this responsible, financial good-housekeeping that sets our state up well for the next year, but as a negotiated supplemental, I hope sets the tone for next year’s budget negotiations.”

Stamas, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, added: “In the near term, this supplemental funding includes important line-items to aid in the continued COVID response in our communities and schools and assists in providing mental health to the most vulnerable during this time.”

This article was originally posted on Michigan legislature passes $1 billion budget supplements

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