For Immediate Release
Jan. 19, 2021
Proposal includes a permanent extension of 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, increased rental, food and worker assistance, vaccine funding
LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Michigan COVID Recovery Plan announced today, which includes a number of both longstanding and COVID-related League priorities. It can be attributed to League President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.
“As an organization that advocates for struggling workers, the League opposed the shortsighted move to cut six weeks of state unemployment benefits in 2011, and has been advocating for the restoration of those benefits ever since. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for additional unemployment benefits, but we agree that it should be done permanently, not piecemeal. The challenges for unemployed and underemployed workers preceded COVID-19, and will continue even after the pandemic gets under control, and we need to ensure that an additional six weeks of financial support is always there.
“For years, too many Michigan families have been one unexpected crisis away from hardship. And while that used to be a fear on an individual basis, COVID-19 has led to it being experienced globally. The League has been pushing for a stronger safety net for years, and since the COVID-19 pandemic has hit, including investments in rental assistance and food assistance like those proposed today. No resident should have to face hunger or homelessness, and this funding will help families weather this storm without losing everything and, in turn, make it easier for them to get back on their feet once the health emergency subsides. Additional proposals to help working single parents, small businesses, and schools will all help to get our economy back on track.
“And finally, in order for this health emergency and its economic side effects to subside, we need to curb the spread of COVID-19. Today’s proposal also includes federal funding to ramp up much-needed vaccination distribution, provide financial support to local health departments for vaccine administration costs, including additional staff, equipment and supplies. The state will also receive $575 million to expand COVID-19 testing, tracing, and lab capacity in Michigan, working comprehensively and concurrently to reduce the spread of COVID-19 before and after exposure.”
The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.
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