Whitmer Creates COVID-19 Spending Oversight Office, Approves $150 Million in Coronavirus Spending

Whitmer MI Capitol overcast


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan COVID-19 Office of Accountability on Monday to provide a check over spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

The office, which resides in the State Budget Office, provides oversight to all spending to fight the coronavirus and will report to the governor and the state budget director.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget will designate a chief for the office.

“Protecting the people of Michigan and lowering the chance of a second wave has demanded flexibility and decisiveness, and has also required funds from the state treasury, philanthropic sources and the federal government,” said Whitmer in a statement.

The governor signed two supplemental budget bills that will secure $150 million in funding to fight the pandemic, axing an $80 million in other, previously planned budget items. Whitmer also suspended state hiring and all discretionary spending in state department and agencies, according to MLive.

“Residents across the great state of Michigan need to know that the Executive and Legislative branches of state government are working together to do whatever is necessary to ensure an effective response to COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a joint statement with other legislators announcing the bills.

Cut spending included $15 million for the Pure Michigan program, as well as small appropriations for local communities for libraries, event centers, museums and downtowns, MLive said.

Michigan has spent more than $130 million on 20 million masks, more than 2,00 ventilators, nearly 9 million ounces of hand sanitizer, more than 255,000 boxes of gloves, 2.4 million gowns, more than 2,000 beds, 210,000 testing supplies, 3,000 thermometers, 185,000 face shields and 22,000 cartons of disinfecting wipes, among other supplies.

Michiganders have the right to expect that state government will be responsible stewards of their resources, especially in a time of crisis,” Whitmer said. “I will continue to work around the clock to ensure these resources are spent wisely, in compliance with the law, and in a transparent and accountable manner.”

Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]





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