Governor signs COVID spending bills

The governor vetoed some spending that would have limited health department authority.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed spending bills meant to spur COVID-19 mitigation efforts and support people and businesses suffering during the pandemic. At the same time, she vetoed several measures that would have also limited her authority to issue orders during the ongoing public health emergency.

What Happened: Last week, state lawmakers passed a raft of spending measures – most of it using money allocated by the federal government in an effort to address pandemic needs.

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The bills as passed designated more than $4.2 billion to everything from vaccination efforts to school funding. Some of that spending was tied to rules that would restrict health officials from issuing public health orders without the legislature’s approval.

Those measures, and their related spending, were vetoed by the governor on Tuesday. Those vetoes effectively reduce the approved spending plan by $652 million.

Still, the plan includes a number of bipartisan priorities, including:

  • $110 million for vaccine distribution
  • $1 billion in school funding
  • $150 million to raise the pay of direct care workers
  • $283 million for rent and utility assistance for people struggling during the pandemic

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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