Governor Whitmer Signs Bill to Provide Funding for Enhanced Federal Unemployment Benefits
On September 8, Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 745, which appropriates $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from federal revenues awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover a temporary $300 per week enhanced federal payment for eligible Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.
As part of the FEMA program, the additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits will continue until the federal emergency disaster relief funding made available for this program has been exhausted. At this time, it is unknown how many weeks may be covered by existing funds.
“This is good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still a short term band aid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need the president, Mitch McConnell and Congress to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet. Michigan families, frontline workers and small business owners are counting on the federal government to do the right thing and work together on their behalf.”
At this time, eligible claimants do not have to take any action to receive the additional benefit amount provided by the program.
SB 745 also includes $8 million in funding to facilitate the further development of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois, which will provide a critical barrier to prevent invasive carp from entering Lake Michigan. In addition, the bill provides match funding for disaster flood cleanup in Midland and Gladwin counties, as well as funding to cover costs for flood response and mitigation efforts in the City of Detroit.
“I appreciate the good working relationship I have with our appropriations chairs, Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Shane Hernandez,” said State Budget Director Chris Kolb. “This bill will provide important unemployment benefits for residents in our state and I look forward to continuing our work with the Legislature as we negotiate the Fiscal Year 2021 budget which begins on October 1.”
“A little more than three months ago, communities in Gladwin and Midland counties saw tremendous flooding and the damage is still impossible to fully comprehend,” said Senator Jim Stamas, R-Midland. “We are in this together, and this state funding will assist our communities to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of unimaginable flooding.”
“The crucial funding being sent to the Detroit supporting flood mitigation sets us on a path to save lives and protect our communities. These funds will allow us to create long-term solutions to prevent flooding in our neighborhoods throughout the city. I was proud to advocate for this funding on behalf of Detroiters everywhere, and am grateful that Governor Whitmer made it official today,” said Representative Joe Tate, D-Detroit.
SB 745 was sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas.