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Whitmer signs funding bill with resources for flooding recovery, sheriffs departments

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Posted at 3:51 PM, Jul 26, 2021

YPSILANTI, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed on Monday a bill appropriating $384.7 million in supplemental relief funding to support the recovery of individuals, families and small businesses to help them emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a stronger position.

As part of the supplemental funding bill, $10 million in state general funds will be used to assist areas of the state with restoration costs and other expenses resulting from weather-related events from last month, according to a news release.

In addition, $2.7 million in federal funding has been allocated for the Secondary Road Patrol Program, which provides grants to county sheriff’s departments for patrolling secondary roads.

“Right now, our top priority remains moving our state and economy forward so that Michigan families and small businesses can emerge stronger than ever,” Whitmer said. “This is another example of the good things that can happen when we work together and put Michiganders back to work. I also appreciate the good-faith efforts by members of the legislature to help us deliver financial assistance for families recovering from unprecedented flooding and additional funding to support local law enforcement so that they can keep our families safe. We are going to continue putting Michigan families and small businesses first as we get things done for our state.”

A total of $367.7 million is from federal COVID relief funding that was authorized through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, while another $17 million is from the state’s general fund.

“Sheriff Secondary Road Patrols contribute to the safety of Michigan’s motoring public,” said Matthew M. Saxton, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association. “We have seen over the past two years an increase in traffic fatalities and serious injuries, that can be directly related to a lack of traffic safety enforcement resources. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association and sheriffs across the state are grateful that the legislature and governor have recognized and are committed to funding this important public safety need. We look forward to working together for the safety of Michigan’s motoring public.”

The new funding also includes $105 million in federal funds to provide a 40% rate increase in child development and care program providers for the 2020-21 fiscal year, as well as a modification to pay providers based on enrollment rather than based on attendance starting on June 28, 2021 and ending Sept. 30, 2021.

“These are huge shifts toward stabilizing the early childhood workforce,” said Denise Smith, implementation director at Hope Starts Here. “Without funding, childcare providers – especially in less resourced communities across our region – cannot reopen and rebuild to support returning workers. Supporting childcare providers means they can pay fair wages to their workforce, stay in operation and support Michigan’s children and families. It’s the right thing to do to get Michigan back on track.”

A total of $160 million in federal funds is also included in the bill to provide grant awards to hospitals based on total state Medicaid inpatient claims revenue to help cover increased hospital costs and reduced hospital revenue related to the pandemic.

In addition, $100 million in federal funds will provide a $23 per Medicaid day increase to nursing facilities that have experienced a 5% or greater decline in its average daily census.

“Michigan hospitals have experienced significant financial hardships while caring for over 125,000 COVID-19 patients over the past 16 months of the pandemic,” Michigan Health and Hospital Association CEO Brian Peters said. “We want to thank our partners in the legislature and Gov. Whitmer for passing this supplemental allocation that will help hospitals maintain access to care for Michigan residents throughout our state.”

Finally, $7 million in state general funds were allocated to the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Fund to support statutorily required payments to those deemed to have been wrongfully imprisoned and eligible for compensation from the state.