VanderWall supports additional funding for front-line workers, others affected by COVID-19

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall on Wednesday supported legislation to invest $524 million in available federal funding to help families in need of financial assistance, deliver much-needed supplies to front-line workers and support critical state infrastructure.

“The pandemic we’re facing has not only caused illness and the tragic loss of life, but it also has had a devastating economic impact on critical workers, Michigan job providers and families,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This funding from the federal CARES Act will provide relief for those who need it most.”

Senate Bill 690 would provide $12 million for food processors to ensure Michigan’s food supply remains safe and operational, $11 million for the Unemployment Insurance Agency to immediately hire more staff to help unemployed Michigan workers, $2.5 million in assistance to hospitality workers who are not eligible for unemployment benefits, $30 million for at-home learning and assessment support for schools, and $15 million for summer schools.

The measure also would provide $100 million in bonus pay for local first responders, $50 million for additional testing supplies and personal protective equipment for workers in hospitals and other care facilities, $125 million to reduce child care costs for essential workers, and $178 million to temporarily increase pay by $3 per hour for direct care workers — including those caring for seniors in nursing facilities.

SB 690 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.