Legislature approves funding to help fight spread of COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature Tuesday evening unanimously approved funding to aid the state’s health professionals in slowing the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“The COVID-19 virus is presenting us with an unprecedented challenge in our lifetime, and we must continue to devote the time and resources necessary to curb its effects,” said Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This critical funding is going to help a lot of people. I was pleased that Republican and Democrat lawmakers worked together on this in the best interests of all Michiganders.”

House Bill 4729 authorizes $50 million for health care needs and $40 million for other needs, and it sets aside $35 million for additional spending to be made available via legislative transfer if necessary. The funds are in addition to $15 million in set-aside funds and $10 million in readily available funds already passed and contained within Senate Bill 151.

Tuesday’s action also allows access to federal funding to help support efforts to combat the impact of the virus in Michigan.

The Legislature has now dedicated $150 million to tackling the spread of the virus.

In total, state funding so far breaks down as follows:

• $50 million will assist with monitoring, laboratory testing, infection control and maintaining the critical functions of state government;

• $50 million will support expanding health care capacity, as well as critical payments to hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, nurses and testing labs; and

• $50 million will be dedicated to the Coronavirus Response Fund, set aside should the situation worsen.

All of the new funding will be subject to oversight by the Legislator Auditor General to ensure every penny is spent as intended.

HB 4729 has been sent to the governor to be signed into law.

Note: Information regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. If you think you need to be tested or have a question about the virus, contact your health care provider. Additionally, the state of Michigan has a hotline, 1-888-535-6136, that is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.