Governor asks legislature for COVID relief
Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to state House and Senate leaders last week asking for several measures meant to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic repercussions.
COVID Relief: The governor specifically asked state lawmakers to approve $100 million of COVID relief spending.
Whitmer and other state leaders have been pushing federal lawmakers to approve a stimulus package that would boost unemployment benefits, support schools and local governments, and fund pandemic related programs. Those pleas haven’t drawn a response from the Trump administration or the Senate, which has been sitting on stimulus legislation since early summer.
With federal legislation unlikely to be approved before the year’s end, Whitmer wants the state to approve funding to help residents in the meantime.
Other Requests: Whitmer also asked the state legislature to approve a permanent extension of unemployment benefits. Expanded unemployment assistance has been extended repeatedly during the pandemic, but is set to expire at the end of the year.
The governor would also like lawmakers to pass a raft of public health measures, including a law requiring people to wear masks while in public places.
“This is the most urgent public health emergency our state has faced in our lifetimes, and it demands our full, immediate, and unified attention,” wrote Whitmer.
The state House and Senate are scheduled to go back into session December 1.
Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.