Lauwers supports additional funding for front-line workers, others affected by COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dan Lauwers on Wednesday supported legislation to invest $524 million in available federal funding to help families in need of financial assistance, deliver much-needed supplies to front-line workers and support critical state infrastructure.

“It was weeks before Gov. Whitmer requested needed federal funds for Michigan, and now that the federal government has appropriated more than $3 billion to help the state combat the virus, the governor unfortunately has used very little of these emergency funds,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “It is irresponsible of the governor not to use this money. Senate Republicans believe now is the time to assist front-line workers, first responders and others.

“In addition, the governor needs to abandon the one-size-fits-all approach she’s been using and start using a regional, county-by-county approach to solve this crisis.”

Senate Bill 690 would provide $12 million for food processors to ensure Michigan’s food supply remains safe and operational, $11 million for the Unemployment Insurance Agency to immediately hire more staff to help unemployed Michigan workers, $2.5 million in assistance to hospitality workers who are not eligible for unemployment benefits, $30 million for at-home learning and assessment support for schools, and $15 million for summer schools.

The measure also would provide $100 million in bonus pay for local first responders, $50 million for additional testing supplies and personal protective equipment for workers in hospitals and other care facilities, $125 million to reduce child care costs for essential workers, and $178 million to temporarily increase pay by $3 per hour for direct care workers — including those caring for seniors in nursing facilities.

SB 690 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.