State Senate passes COVID relief bill

$465M relief bill would fund unemployment, business assistance. State House could pass it Monday.

Relief money could soon be coming to people and businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. During an extra-long voting session Friday, the State Senate passed the $465.07 million funding bill. The State House is set to take up the legislation on Monday.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been calling on the state legislature to approve emergency relief funding for more than a month.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

What’s In It: The bill includes money for a variety of COVID-related priorities:

  • $220M for extending unemployment benefits through April 1
  • $55 million for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions
  • $51.3 million for health systems to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations
  • $22.5 million for COVID-19 testing in vulnerable populations
  • $15 million for COVID-19 supplies and equipment
  • $3.5 million for entertainment venues that have been closed due to COVID-19
  • $3.3 million for hospitals providing care for COVID-positive nursing home residents

The U.S. Congress is also on the verge of a stimulus deal that could provide $600 checks for many and enhanced unemployment assistance.

You can read more on Michigan Advance.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.