Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a new plan to help Michigan recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitmer says ramping up vaccine distribution is the top priority when it comes to public health. Her plan also provides $225 million for three new programs to help small businesses, and addresses issues such as rental and property tax assistance and job training.
Whitmer’s plan also includes allocation of $1.7 billion in federal funding, plus $300 million in state dollars, to help schools return to in-person learning by March 1, and address learning loss among students caused by the pandemic.
“To help grow and strengthen our economy, we must provide crucial support for our families, small businesses, and frontline workers,” said Governor Whitmer. “The MI COVID Recovery Plan will help small businesses get through the winter, help us put more shots in arms and ramp up vaccine distribution, and get our kids back on track in school. It’s the right thing to do to protect public health and jumpstart our economy, and I’m ready to work with the legislature to get it done.”
“The governor’s MI COVID Recovery Plan includes crucial support for our small businesses, our educators, students, and support staff, and our overall public health,” said State Budget Director Dave Massaron. “This is a plan to help our economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and help Michigan compete. To make these investments even more valuable, the immediate action by the legislature to renew Good Jobs for Michigan is vitally important to drive more opportunity for our residents.”
“While still down more than $1 billion compared to projections before the pandemic, the state’s fiscal year 2021 revenues were raised upwards primarily due to impacts from the federal stimulus along with Governor Whitmer’s strong leadership,” said State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks. “Our economic recovery is highly dependent on getting the public health situation under control, and her actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic have improved our fiscal outlook. The MI COVID Recovery Plan will help us jumpstart our economy. Our economic recovery this year will continue to depend on the course of the pandemic and additional economic relief coming from Washington D.C. This plan will direct dollars where they are needed most and will help us achieve the economic recovery we are all eagerly waiting for.”
State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth said the plan misses the mark. He said, in part, “It’s interesting to see the governor is suddenly concerned about the health of small businesses, after forcing them to close their doors without a scrap of presentable data. Small family businesses aren’t asking for her handouts; they simply want to open back up and earn a living. It’s what they were promised last summer. Gov. Whitmer continues to use a piecemeal approach instead of a strategic plan to reopen businesses. This shouldn’t be a rollercoaster ride — employers and employees are fed up and deserve some actual answers regarding their futures and livelihoods.”