Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wrote a letter addressed to Michigan legislative leaders, asking for three pieces of major legislation -- a $100 million stimulus package, a COVID-19 aid to hospitals and nursing homes, and a boost to unemployment benefits.
Whitmer's Letter to Legislature
Gov. Whitmer has consistently asked for federal help with a response from the White House. She expects the relief plan to be approved when she returns to a session with state legislators during December.
The Democratic governor requested to leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature for the state-based stimulus program that she stated "will provide direct financial support to the families and small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic," reported ABC 12.
Her letter comes as legislators are slated for a return to session on Tuesday until December 17. Congress has been occupied with negotiations over potentially billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 aid.
The request includes proffering "direct financial support" to struggling small businesses and families. In the letter sent on Wednesday to legislative leaders, she proposed the Legislature pass a pandemic economic aid package amid the three-week lame-duck session slated to commence on Tuesday in Lansing.
The governor remarked the $100 million stimulus plan could be in place of additional federal aid from Congress. Since June, over a second stimulus after the CARES Act, the Congress has been in a stalemate that contributed over $2 trillion into the economy amid the first wave of pandemic-induced business closings, reported Crain's Detroit.
Whitmer wrote in the letter, "It is crucial for us to come together now to pass a targeted, state-based economic stimulus plan of up to $100 million that will provide direct financial support to the families and small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic."
The governor prompted the Legislature to pass a permanent extension of unemployment benefits as they would expire after the holidays and to bolster the weekly benefit and broaden Michigan's Workshare program.
The state government has already made temporary moves in requiring face masks and shields in public, limiting indoor gatherings, and protecting workers. Still, she wrote that there is more that Legislature could do.
Whitmer wrote, "Passing legislation to require masks in public - which received bipartisan support this week - would greatly improve compliance, assist law enforcement, and help slow the spread of COVID-19," reported M Live.
According to Republican leaders, they have spoken directly with President Donald Trump at the White House last week regarding the COVID-19 relief plan but refused to provide details.
Whitmer did not mention whether the package could impact taxes.
In Michigan, the number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus rose to 341,941. New cases that have been recorded were 17,162 in the last three days.
She also noted that it is unclear what shot such a plan could have as Michigan faces an up to $1 billion budget shortfall next fiscal year.
According to a Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, state revenues have been coming in beyond projections. However, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which could have an expanded influence on the political process, suggested lawmakers restrain aid if the governor extends a three-week closing of many businesses.
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