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Politics & Government

Whitmer Approves $384 Million Supplemental Spending Bill, Includes Relief For Flood Victims

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Caroline Llanes
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Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 27 in Ypsilanti on Monday. The bill appropriates $384.7 million dollars in supplemental money. Most of the money comes from federal COVID-19 relief, but $17 million comes from the state's general fund.

More than $105 million will go to providing childcare to Michiganders, particularly for frontline workers.

"This will really allow parents to go back to work with peace of mind that their children are going to be okay, but also to support children so that they have begun their lifelong learning in a safe, supportive environment," Whitmer said. She also praised the state's essential workers, saying, "This is a way that we can support that work and show our gratitude."

There is also money in the bill to provide more resources to state and local law enforcement. Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton spoke, and called the bill another example of Whitmer's commitment to serving Michiganders.

"From a public safety perspective, the governor knows that public safety is more than a community's police services experience. Public safety is about the quality of life the community members experience: the water we drink, the food we eat, and the level and kind of governmental services, including police services, we receive," he said. "While this investment doesn't solve all the problems resulting in the lack of historical investment in our most underserved communities, I believe that this is definitely a step in the right direction."

Over the past few weeks, storms and heavy rains caused historic floods which led to severe damage throughout Southeast Michigan. On Monday, Whitmer announced that $10 million of the money would be short-term emergency relief for areas and communities hardest hit by that flooding.

"I know that people are exhausted and stressed, and I know that after cleaning a basement, only to set it back up and to see it flood again, and again, in some cases, is just beyond frustrating," she said.

Whitmer said climate change meant that severe weather events like the flooding the state has seen since June 26 would get more frequent and more severe.

"We’ve seen this since I took office. Three weeks in, we had the polar vortex, last year we had the Midland flooding, and now, three major flooding events in southeast Michigan in the past few weeks. That is the reality of climate change, and it is impacting us right now," she said.

Whitmer thanked the state legislature for coming together to pass the bill, and says she hopes she'd soon see them take action on climate-resilient infrastructure.

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