LaSata supports additional funding for front-line workers, others affected by COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved, with bipartisan support, $524 million in federal COVID-19 funds to help families in need of financial assistance, provide personal protective supplies to front-line workers and support critical state infrastructure.

“Front-line health care and public safety workers and others critical to keeping our state going during this unprecedented time are putting their lives on the line every day,” said Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. “Today’s vote would provide additional financial support to help them take care of themselves and their families, as well as much-needed supplies in our continued fight against the coronavirus.”

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 front-line workers; $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.

“It’s important that we put these federal dollars to use quickly to help those in need,” LaSata said. “I am hopeful the governor will join us in signing the bill should it reach her desk.”

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