LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is once again urging the legislature to pass a set of bills aimed at keeping people safe and provide funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Whitmer said she sent another letter to the legislature asking them to pass the bills.
Originally, Whitmer had sent them a letter before Thanksgiving asking them to pass a $100 million COVID-19 relief bill. She later asked them to approve another $300 million in spending.
According to Whitmer, nearly 2,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the three weeks since that letter, and the legislature has only been in session for six days.
Speaking on Tuesday, Whitmer urged the legislature to focus on three things.
First, she asked them to approve $100 million in spending for families and small businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic.
Second, she asked them to pass a permanent extension of unemployment benefits. She said that she appreciated the Senate's extension of benefits for 26 weeks to March, but said the state needs permanent ones.
The extension of benefits to hard-working Michiganders should not be used as some sort of bargaining chip tied to other priorities of the legislature," she said.
Finally, she said the legislature needs to pass a mandate requiring masks in public until a majority of Michiganders have had the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I know there is bipartisan support for that action, I’d love to see the legislature take action," she said.