For Immediate Release
Dec. 21, 2020
Bill funds six-week unemployment extension, child care funding for school-aged children, vaccine operations, and grants and increased pay for various workers and businesses
LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the Michigan House’s passage this morning of Senate Bill 748 to pass $465 million in supplemental budget funding to provide immediate help to Michigan workers, families and businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 health crisis. Paired with Senate Bill 604, which the House also finalized this morning, the Legislature has passed and funded a six-week extension of emergency unemployment benefits to tackle one of the more time-sensitive COVID needs. The statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy External Affairs Director Alex Rossman.
“Today’s action finalizes a desperately needed budget supplemental to address the various impacts of COVID-19 on our families, our workers, our businesses, our public health and our economy. We appreciate the resilience and determination of lawmakers to keep negotiating and not lose sight of their responsibility to tackle this crisis.
“This is a huge amount of funding and supports an extensive list of important priorities that needed to be addressed now. This includes vaccine strategies as shipments start coming in and being administered. This provides six more weeks of emergency unemployment for thousands of struggling workers who were about to have their benefits run out. This is a need for workers and kids, as 56% of Michigan households with children have lost income since the pandemic began. Grants for businesses and workers who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Child care funding for providers to school-aged children as kids’ and parents’ schedules continue to change. And hazard pay and raises to acknowledge the importance of direct care workers and educators of kids of all ages right now.
“There are still other COVID-related struggles kids and residents are facing right now that were not addressed today, and we hope they are a top priority in the next supplemental that is expected as early as January. This includes funding to address eviction assistance and other housing needs and allocating more federal funding for expanded food assistance benefits for school children who would have received free/reduced-price meals through school if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 emergency and move to virtual schools.”
BACKGROUND: Last week, a new national KIDS COUNT report was released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation on the impact of COVID-19 on parents and kids around the country and here in Michigan: Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and a Roadmap for Recovery. The report showed that an average of 62% of Michigan households with children have lost employment income since March 13, 2020, and that percentage is still hovering at 56%. All Michigan-specific data can be found here.
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.