Senate approves funding for front-line workers, others affected by COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Peter J. Lucido said Wednesday that $524 million in federal COVID-19 funding was approved to help families in need of financial assistance, deliver much-needed supplies to front-line workers and support critical state infrastructure.

“The impact of the coronavirus has been devastating to our people and the economy and has strained our front-line workers who are putting their lives on the line to serve our communities,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “That’s why we acted today to provide additional financial support for these workers to help take care of their families during this unprecedented time.”

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 for workers at nursing, home health and day care facilities; $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.

Additionally, SB 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.

“Every day that this shutdown continues, the harsher the impact will be on the state’s budget,” Lucido said. “Thankfully these federal dollars are available and it’s important that we put them to work quickly to help our front-line workers, first responders, teachers and families while conserving state dollars for long-term needs.”

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