Governor Greenlights Construction, Announces Free College for Frontline Workers, Child Care Grants

Governor Gretchen Whitmer confirmed on Wednesday that she will sign an executive order on Friday, opening residential and commercial construction by May 7.  The move follows earlier loosening of restrictions that are part of her Stay Home, Stay Safe order, in which landscapers and greenhouses were allowed to reopen this week.

As Gov. Whitmer gradually allows segments of the economy to reopen, based on data showing declining COVID-19 cases, she announced a new program to help those who have continued working on the front lines. The Futures for Frontliners program will allow those who qualify  to earn a college degree or technical certificate tuition free. She said it’s modeled after the GI Bill that helped service members after WWII. Whitmer said the program will also help achieve her goal of having 60 percent of Michiganders with a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2030.

Gov. Whitmer also announced a $130 million investment to make child care more affordable and accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the Child Care Relief Fund will provide grants to childcare providers, and help ensure they remain open and can stay afloat during the Stay Home, Stay Safe state of emergency. She said it will also help make child care more affordable now and as the economy reopens, and
give child care providers the resources to reopen when more families need child care options.