On Tuesday, December 29, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bipartisan relief bill that the Michigan legislature passed after she urged them to provide support for Michigan families, frontline workers, and small businesses.
The relief bill includes $55 million to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Grants of up to $20,000 will be made available to small businesses across the state that need support this winter. The relief bill also includes $3.5 million for grants of up to $40,000 each for live music and entertainment venues, and includes $45 million in direct payments to workers who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the virus.
“I proposed this stimulus plan to the legislature in November because I know how much our families, frontline workers, and small businesses need relief. This bipartisan bill will provide families and businesses the support they need to stay afloat as we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eliminate COVID-19 once and for all,” said Governor Whitmer.
The governor also signed bipartisan Senate Bill 604 extending unemployment benefits for Michiganders who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of March 2021. Senate Bill 604 was sponsored by Senator Curtis Hertel.
“No Michigander should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a global pandemic,” said Governor Whitmer. “These bipartisan bills are an important step in providing immediate relief for working families, but there is more work to do. I urge the legislature to take further action to make this permanent. 40 states, including all of our neighbors, automatically provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment relief. Michiganders deserve better than a short-term extension that expires in March.
It’s time to work together on a bipartisan, long-term solution for working families.”
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Whitmer and her administration have worked around the clock to ensure benefits for Michiganders who have lost work because of the virus. Since March 15, Governor Whitmer’s administration has paid nearly $27 billion in benefits to nearly 2.3 million workers.
When Whitmer signed the bipartisan relief bill, she also line item vetoed any items not subject to negotiated agreement.