Rep Sue Allor
Rep. Allor: Funding plan provides resources needed to protect Northern Michigan families during pandemic
RELEASE|December 21, 2020
Contact: Sue Allor

Today, State Rep. Sue Allor of Wolverine voted to help provide funding for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan and to help boost testing, while also helping those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the virus and economic shutdowns.

Allor joined her colleagues in the House in approving a $465 million overall plan that also temporarily extends unemployment benefits while supporting the restaurant industry, the small businesses and the families who depend on them.

“Northern Michiganders, along with the rest of our state, are struggling and deserve relief,” Allor said. “These funds are necessary to continue protecting our communities against the virus, as well as those struggling financial difficulties from the numerous shutdown – including our small businesses. I’m proud to support this plan, which builds on the Legislature’s commitment to continue fighting COVID-19.” 

Highlights of Senate Bill 748 include:

  • 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. Allor 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.
  • 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 are extended by six weeks through March, meaning laid-off workers are temporarily eligible to receive up to 26 weeks of benefits. Employers are not penalized for this 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.
  • 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 the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.

Allor said the proposal builds on the Legislature’s commitment to fight COVID-19 and its effects. So far, the Legislature has approved more than $3 billion from state budgets, plus allocation of federal unemployment funding to surpass $6 billion overall.

Senate Bill 748 will soon head to Gov. Whitmer for her consideration.

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