Rep. Annette Glenn today announced her support for a comprehensive plan that would provide more help to Michigan families and communities struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $13 billion plan also strengthens Michigan’s foundation as it emerges from the pandemic by investing in schools, families, roads, broadband and other critical infrastructure while taking steps to improve future state finances.
“This has been a long, agonizing time for so many in our community and all across Michigan,” Glenn said. “We have an important opportunity to get real help to the people who need it most – families, kids and workers who have had their lives and livelihoods upended because of this terrible pandemic.
“Also, we are at the stage of the pandemic where we must look ahead and determine what Michigan needs to thrive and recover in the future – including better roads, water and sewer systems, and improved internet access in rural areas,” Glenn said. “This plan will strengthen our state in countless ways.”
Glenn is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which considered details of the new plan today. Votes are expected to begin in the near future.
The House supplemental budget plan includes $11.8 billion in federal relief aid and $1.3 billion in state general fund resources.
Relief for families including $743 million for food assistance and $481 million to assist with rent, utility and energy bills. Additional support will strengthen Meals on Wheels and other senior programs, mental health and community health initiatives, foster care and many other efforts.
Support for students and schools totaling about $4.8 billion. This includes support to help kids catch up on academics after missing in-person classes over the past year, COVID testing, and school ventilation improvements. About $1.4 billion is provided for early childhood care.
Support for communities including $400 million to help people move off unemployment and return to work, $686 million for local governments, and $205 million for renovations at mental health facilities. Other support includes hazard pay for state employees working on the front lines of COVID response, local road sheriff’s patrols, transit programs, agricultural processing and more.
Investments in infrastructure with $1.2 billion for roads (including $700 million to pay down bond debt), $250 million for water and sewer replacement grants, and $150 million for rural broadband. Other support goes to airports, PFAS and pollution cleanup, and addressing high lake levels.
Fighting the virus with $180 million for vaccine distribution and more than $550 million for additional COVID testing.
Glenn noted several steps are included in the plan to ensure money is spent as intended and improve government accountability.
Steps would be taken to pay off state debt, return $350 million to the state’s rainy day fund, and provide $50 million to right-size state government and accelerate the state’s consolidation of office space. The vast majority of state employees have been working remotely during the pandemic, which indicates the state does not need all of its existing office space moving forward, Glenn said. In a separate proposal for next fiscal year’s state budget, Glenn has advocated reducing office space funding by 10 percent.
The House plan also provides money to investigate the governor’s nursing home policies related to COVID, and to study the effects of pandemic orders.
“After all the suffering so many Michigan families have endured, we need answers on the state’s pandemic response,” Glenn said. “Studying the effects of these decisions will hold government accountable and also could shape future decision-making in our state.”