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Michigan COVID-19 Recovery Plan Unveiled by Governor Whitmer

The Massive Plan Was Announced in a Press Release on January 19 and Will Target a Multitude of Sectors

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In an effort to boost Michigan’s COVID recovery, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the ambitious Michigan COVID Recovery Plan. The recovery plan aims to focus on vaccine distribution, economic recovery, schools and more.

“To help grow and strengthen our economy, we must provide crucial support for our families, small businesses, and frontline workers,” stated Governor Whitmer. “The MI COVID Recovery Plan will help small businesses get through the winter, help us put more shots in arms and ramp up vaccine distribution, and get our kids back on track in school. It’s the right thing to do to protect public health and jumpstart our economy, and I’m ready to work with the legislature to get it done.”

“The governor’s MI COVID Recovery Plan includes crucial support for our small businesses, our educators, students, and support staff, and our overall public health,” added State Budget Director Dave Massaron. “This is a plan to help our economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and help Michigan compete. To make these investments even more valuable, the immediate action by the legislature to renew Good Jobs for Michigan is vitally important to drive more opportunity for our residents.”

While still down more than $1 billion compared to projections before the pandemic, the state’s fiscal year 2021 revenues were raised upwards primarily due to impacts from the federal stimulus along with Governor Whitmer’s strong leadership,” shared State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks, who was also on the conference. “Our economic recovery is highly dependent on getting the public health situation under control, and her actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic have improved our fiscal outlook. The MI COVID Recovery Plan will help us jumpstart our economy. Our economic recovery this year will continue to depend on the course of the pandemic and additional economic relief coming from Washington D.C. This plan will direct dollars where they are needed most and will help us achieve the economic recovery we are all eagerly waiting for.

BRIEFLY BREAKING DOWN THE RECOVERY PLAN

Divided into a few parts, the recovery plan will aim to address matters of public health, jobs and the economy, as well as education.

On the matter of public health, it’s all about vaccine distribution, as the recovery plan aims to utilize the $90 million given to the state of Michigan to ramp up vaccine distribution. All in all, the goal of the plan aims to boost the vaccination rate to 50,000 shots in arms per day.

On the topic of jobs and the economy, the plan provides $225 million for three new programs aimed at addressing economic needs for businesses. The three plans include The Michigan Mainstreet Initiative — which will help to stabilize the small business community through grats — Michigan Microenterprise Support Initiative — which aims to support businesses with less than nine employees — and the Business Accelerator and Resiliency Initiative — which aims to grants to high-tech startups in Michigan.

Elsewhere, the plan also calls for an extension of unemployment benefits to a permanent 26 weeks, food, rental and property tax assistance, as well as targeted employment and training programs and a rural development program aimed at addressing the needs of rural Michiganders.

Lastly, the recovery plan aims to address schools’ amid the pandemic and how the state can go about safely reopening them. As part of this effort, Michigan was awarded $1.7 billion through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund).

“In order to safely educate Michigan students, schools and educators must have the funding necessary to put virus mitigation measures in place and adhere to them. COVID-19 has impacted every district in the state and every district needs resources to continue educating Michigan students. That’s why the additional per-pupil funding proposed by the governor is so critical, in addition to providing extra support for the individual needs of Michigan at-risk and special education students,” shared Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart in a later released press release.

Working with an additional $300M in state funds, Whitmer plans on providing every student with an in-person learning opportunity by March 1. The plan also aims to help address the learning lost during the stressful months of at-home learning.

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