House approves Stamas-Glenn flood relief and unemployment bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday approved Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas’ legislation to provide critical flood relief funding and implement President Trump’s federal unemployment support.

“This funding will help Michigan workers who remain unemployed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting shutdowns and provide vital relief to struggling communities recovering from unimaginable flooding,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I want to thank Rep. Annette Glenn for her leadership and hard work on this much-needed financial support to help our communities recover and rebuild following devastating flood damage in May.

“I also want to thank the many people, organizations and businesses who have stepped up, and continue to step up, to help affected residents during this tough time.”

Senate Bill 745 would provide $6 million to communities in the Gladwin and Midland areas for flood response efforts. It would provide matching funds for available cleanup grants, debris removal and emergency protective measures such as sheltering, evacuation and chemical contamination cleanup efforts.

“It was overwhelming to see the tears of hardworking business owners who had dedicated their lives to serving families in our communities and of the many families whose homes were severely damaged or completely destroyed,” said Glenn, R-Midland. “I’m incredibly humbled and honored to work with Sen. Stamas to represent and fight for the people most impacted by the flood. We’re all in this together, and together, we’ll recover and rebuild, stronger than before.”

SB 745 would also appropriate $2.9 billion in federal funding for the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program, which was created by President Trump through an executive order last month and provides eligible claimants a $300 per week additional unemployment benefit.

Michigan’s application to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to participate in the LWA program was approved Aug. 21. According to the state Unemployment Insurance Agency, about 910,000 Michiganders will be eligible to receive the additional benefit.

“Our economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown orders,” Stamas said. “As a result, thousands of Michigan residents remain out of work. Thanks to the president’s actions, we can use this vital federal funding to help families make ends meet during this crisis.”

Additional funding in the bill includes $3 million for Detroit flood response and mitigation and $8 million for Michigan’s contribution to an Asian carp barrier at Brandon Road Lock in Illinois. The Asian carp funding was originally appropriated in Public Act 618 of 2018 and has awaited an agreement with Illinois.

SB 745 now heads to the Senate for final approval and to be sent to the governor.