by Bruce Walker
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Senate Bill 27 to appropriate $384.7 million in supplemental pandemic relief funding.
Signed by the governor on Monday afternoon, the bill also provides $10 million of financial support for Southeast Michigan families and businesses that endured massive flooding in June.
SB 27 was introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, in January. The bill combines $367.7 million of federal COVID relief funding authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and $17 million from the state’s general fund.
“This vital assistance will help our hospitals, nursing facilities and child development and care programs continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting financial repercussions,” Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Twp., said in a statement.
Funding approved by the bill will be allocated to a variety of programs, including
- $2.7 million in federal funding for the Secondary Road Patrol Program, which provides grants to county sheriff’s departments for the patrol of secondary roads.
- $105 million in federal funds to provide a 40% rate increase to child development and care program providers for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and a modification to pay providers based on enrollment rather than based on attendance starting on June 28, 2021 and ending Sept. 30, 2021.
- $160 million in federal funds to provide grant awards to hospitals based on total state Medicaid inpatient claims revenue to help cover increased hospital costs and reduced hospital revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, $100 million in federal funds is provided for a $23.00 per Medicaid day increase to nursing facilities that have experienced a 5% or greater decline in the nursing facility’s average daily census.
- $7 million in state general funds were allocated to the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Fund to support statutorily required payments to those deemed to have been wrongfully imprisoned and eligible for compensation from the state under 2016 PA 363.
“We’ve come a long way from where we were during the uncertainty of last year’s budget cycle,” Sen. Steve Schmidt, R-Traverse City, said in a statement. “The supplemental funding that was signed into law today would provide major relief to hospitals that have struggled with resources over the last year, funding to help improve childcare here in Michigan, and money to boost secondary road patrols in the less-traveled areas of my district,” he said.
“We’ve made major investments in education, roads and bridges, along with other COVID-19 relief funding, and with this supplemental being signed, we are taking another step forward for Michigan residents,” Schmidt said.
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Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.
Photo “Jim Stamas” by Jim Stamas.