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Governor Whitmer signs bill keeping children safe in schools, lowering housing costs for Michiganders, cutting taxes

Supplemental investments include COVID-19 testing in schools, advocacy for nursing home residents, funds for law enforcement
FILE - In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer...
FILE - In a photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her virtual State of the State address the state, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer on Wednesday, Sept. 29 will deem some Republican-backed budget provisions unconstitutional attempts to restrict COVID-19 public health measures but allow language limiting potential state and municipal vaccination requirements. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)(AP)
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 5:14 PM EST
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DETROIT, Mich. (WLUC) - On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4398, a nearly $1 billion supplemental bill that invests federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to keep children safe and learning in-person, protect seniors in nursing homes, and ensure Michiganders can stay in their homes.

The governor also signed HB 5376, which cuts taxes for small businesses, and SB 103, which will simplify planning and development of electric transmission lines. The governor was joined by Speaker Jason Wentworth and Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who were instrumental in the passage of all three bills, the executive office of the governor said in a press release.

“Today, I signed a bipartisan supplemental bill that will help keep our kids safe and learning in-person, help families stay in their homes, and cut taxes for small businesses,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “For months, legislative leaders and I have been working together in good faith to find the most effective way to spend the federal dollars sent to Michigan by the American Rescue Plan. Today, we took another big step forward when I signed a nearly $1 billion investment that will help kids safe and learning in school, recruit and retain more teachers, protect seniors in nursing homes, help communities tackle lead in their drinking water, and get vaccines out the door even faster. I am grateful to the committee chairs, the caucus leaders, and the legislators for the hard work they put in to deliver critical aid to families, communities, and small businesses as we continue building our economy back stronger than ever. Our progress is a testament to what’s possible when we work together, and this bill will build on progress we made earlier this year to enact the largest education investment in state history and pass a balanced, bipartisan budget that made game-changing investments in skills, bridges, childcare, and so much more.”

Supplemental Investments

· $150 million for COVID school testing to keep children safe and learning in-person.

· $140 million for rental assistance to help Michiganders stay in their homes.

· $36.3 million to help communities tackle lead, fund water distribution, inspections, blood testing, and more.

· $14.1 million for a Nursing Home Strike Teams grant to help older Michiganders stay safe in nursing homes.

· $10 million to support teacher recruitment, training, development, and retention.

· $6.9 million for Michigan State Police to help them continue protecting public safety.

Education Investment

In July, Governor Whitmer signed a bipartisan funding bill that made the largest investment in preK-12 education in Michigan history. The bill closed the funding gap between schools in Michigan, enrolled 22,000 children and counting in free preschool through the Great Start Readiness Program, and helped schools to hire more nurses, counselors, and social workers.

Bipartisan Budget

In September, Governor Whitmer signed the Fiscal Year 2022 budget bill that includes game-changing investments in childcare and delivers on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families, communities, and small business. The budget puts 167,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free path to higher-education or skills training, repairs or replaces 100 bridges while creating 2,500 jobs, and made a $500 million deposit into our rainy day fund, the largest one-time ever, bringing its balance to nearly $1.4 billion, the highest ever.

Michigan’s Nursing Homes through COVID-19

Michigan put seniors first during the COVID-19 pandemic, the press release said. Governor Whitmer acted quickly, followed the science, and listened to experts to slow the spread of the virus in our communities. Michigan worked around the clock to secure PPE and required testing for residents and staff. The administration put nursing home residents and staff first when it came to vaccinations, vaccinating over 264,000 nursing home residents of all races across Michigan.

Link to the signing letter can be found here:

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