$880.1M COVID-19 Relief Bill Heads to Governor Whitmer

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The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate unanimously passed an $880.1 million supplemental spending bill of federal dollars from the CARES Act for various COVID-19-related items. Senate Bill 690 will now head to Gov. Whitmer for her signature. The Governor has issued a public statement in that there is an agreement on the Bill.

The Chamber’s government relations team provided a quick analysis of some of the appropriation items below:

Small Business Restart Grants: The package includes $115 million for a small business grant program. The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. will be able to offer small business relief grants through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s program.

  • $100 million designated for qualifying small businesses or nonprofits with restarting operations. Capped at $20,000 per business or nonprofit.
  • $10 million designated for agriculture processing and $5 million for farming safety grants. Both to be capped at $1,000 per plant employee.

Unemployment: $29.1 million will be used by the Department of Labor, Employment, and Traning Administration to use with other approved funds to increase the capacity of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Funding will be used to hire 500 employees and/or contractors to process claims and software upgrades for up to six months.

Relief for Hospitality Workers: $2.5 million for the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation to provide grants of up to $500 to individuals who were employed in the hospitality industry in Michigan as of March 10, 2020, and who can demonstrate need.

Child Care Rate Reduction Stipend: Includes $125 million for the department to provide child care rate reduction stipends to child care providers to reduce child care costs to families. All licensed child care providers that received grants from the Child Care Relief Fund would be eligible to receive a child care rate reduction stipend for each of the months of June, July, and August.

District COVID-19 Costs: Includes $18 million for the department to allocate to local school districts and public school academies to support instructional recovery programming, benchmark assessments, or health and safety expenditures necessary to provide instruction safely due to COVID-19.

Device Purchasing Program/Distance Learning: Includes $25 million to be allocated to the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA) to be used for the coordination and incentivizing of strategic purchasing of devices that would be used by students at home and in the school environment and to address immediate access and connectivity issues for students, families, and community members who do not have internet access. MAISA would be required to use the funds to make devices affordable for all K-12 districts through a statewide purchase program.

First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums: Includes $100 million for the payment or reimbursement of first responder hazard pay premiums provided to first responders who performed hazardous duty or work related to COVID-19. First responders would include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, 9-1-1 operators, local unit of government corrections officers, airport public safety officers, and eligible personnel associated with ambulance operations. No more than $5 million would be awarded to any applicant, and the maximum reimbursement amount would be capped at $1,000 per eligible first responder.

Read a full non-partisan breakdown of all of the Bill appropriations.

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