Stamas supports giving governor 2nd chance at relief funding

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas on Wednesday supported passage of supplemental bills to restore COVID-19 relief funding vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, and the bills will give the governor a second chance to provide critical COVID-19 relief to our struggling small businesses and families who desperately need it,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Just a few weeks ago, we voted overwhelmingly to get more shots in arms, more kids in school and more small businesses back on their feet. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed much of it.

“None of this funding is tied to anything else, and we are giving her a chance to fix her mistake and support important funding to help small businesses stay afloat, replenish the Unemployment Trust Fund, safely reopen schools and reimburse parents for school expenses.”

Senate Bill 114 features $555 million in funding previously vetoed by the governor, including:
• $300 million in grants to offset property tax payments for affected homeowners and businesses facing financial ruin due to the governor’s shutdown orders.
• $150 million to repay the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund for fraudulent benefits paid out by the Unemployment Insurance Agency.
• $55 million for grants to help struggling businesses with unemployment taxes.
• $50 million to reimburse Michigan businesses that were charged licensing and inspection fees by the state even when their businesses were closed through no fault of their own.

SB 29 includes $10 million to reimburse parents for costs associated with summer school and $87 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) grants for nonpublic schools.

The bills now head to House of Representatives for consideration.