LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman on Wednesday voted in support of legislation that would provide $524 million in available COVID-19 federal funds to help families in need of financial assistance, deliver much-needed supplies to front-line workers and support critical state infrastructure.
Senate Bill 690 would provide $100 million in support pay for first responders such as police officers, firefighters and EMS workers, $50 million for additional testing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line workers in hospitals and other settings, $125 million to reduce child care costs for essential workers, and $178 million to increase pay by $3 an hour for direct care workers, including those who provide care for seniors in nursing homes, disabled individuals and individuals with mental illnesses.
“The men and women on the front lines deserve all of the equipment and resources they need to keep themselves safe as they continue to serve us — especially the medical workers who have been pushed to the limit yet remained strong and continued providing care and saving lives,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes.
The legislation also includes language to provide $11 million to immediately hire an additional 300 temporary workers to the Unemployment Insurance Agency; $12 million for agriculture processors for testing, facility needs and PPE supplies; $45 million for at-home learning, summer education and assessment support for schools; and $2.5 million in assistance to hospitality workers who may not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
“Many Michigan industries have been hit hard. Families are struggling, business owners can’t meet their financial obligations and many Michigan residents remain unsure of when they will be returning to work,” Outman said. “This federal relief funding will greatly help families with members on the front lines stay safe, provide much-needed assistance to critical Michigan industries, and help people who have been waiting for weeks for their unemployment benefits finally get some help getting their claims taken care of.”
SB 690 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.