House approves $465 million supplemental budget plan
State Rep. Michael Webber, of Rochester Hills, today voted in favor of funding to help Michigan distribute the COVID-19 vaccine and boost testing while helping those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the virus and economic shutdowns.
The House overwhelmingly approved a $465 million plan that also temporarily extends unemployment benefits while supporting the restaurant industry, small businesses and the families who depend on them.
“This COVID-19 relief funding builds on the Legislature’s commitment to fight the virus and its economic repercussions,” Webber said. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but this measure will help the state’s vaccine distribution and testing efforts, temporarily extend unemployment benefits for those forced out of their jobs and deliver much-needed support to our frontline healthcare workers, small businesses and Oakland County families.”
Highlights of the measure include:
- Unemployment benefits and additional help. The measure includes $220 million to temporarily extend unemployment benefits for those who have been forced out of work by the governor’s most recent shutdown orders. Benefits will be extended by six weeks through March, meaning laid-off workers are temporarily eligible for up to 26 weeks of benefits. Employers are held harmless for the change. In addition, $45 million would be set aside for an employee assistance fund providing grants of up to $1,650 to replace lost wages for those employed by a business impacted by the current orders.
- Restaurant and small business relief. The measure adds to grant programs for small businesses whose operations have been shut down or restricted by the governor’s latest orders. Webber said the small business survival program – supported by $55 million in this measure alone – could provide a lifeline for many job providers and families on the brink of economic collapse until they can re-open.
- Vaccine distribution and support for health care workers. The measure includes more than $50 million to support vaccine distribution efforts, and $22.5 million to boost virus testing efforts – with a special focus on nursing homes. Another $42 million will support temporary staffing needs and wage increases for direct care workers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
This measure builds on the Legislature’s commitment to fight COVID-19 and its repercussions – which includes approving more than $3 billion earlier this year from state budgets, plus allocation of federal unemployment funding to surpass $6 billion overall.
Senate Bill 748 is now headed to Gov. Whitmer for her consideration.
Over the six years Rep. Michael Webber served in the state House of Representatives, he cast more than 3,800 votes and had a perfect voting record with zero votes missed. In addition, he introduced 85 pieces of legislation or amendments and sponsored over 130 bills that were signed into law.