Lawmakers OK COVID-19 spending bills; budget chief concerned

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 16:58:01-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan legislators have approved mid-year spending bills, including billions of federal coronavirus relief to boost pay for frontline government workers, incentivize unemployed people to return to work and upgrade infrastructure.

Under a $3.3 billion plan sent to the Senate by the Republican-led House, some federal funding would go toward payroll costs and free up state dollars to pay the Flint water crisis settlement — instead of borrowing — and partially replenish an unemployment benefits fund.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration questioned the bill, saying federal guidance states COVID-19 funds cannot be used to pay down debt and finance legal settlements.