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Budget Offices Asks For $300M More For COVID Response

December 8, 2020

Outside of the $100 million Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants in emergency relief for businesses and individuals hit hardest by the coronavirus, the state Budget Office told lawmakers in a letter it needs $300 million in additional COVID-19 response money. 

The testing, vaccinations, supplies and other services are on top of the $419 million in federal money being used to get lunches to those children who would get government-paid lunches if classes were still in. 
The $300 million would need to come from the state’s General Fund, according to Budget Director Chris Kolb, since the original federal COVID-19 relief money is all spent. However, if the federal government comes through with additional money, state government officials will spend that federal money first. 
The $300 million in question would go toward: 
– $192.4 million to support contact tracing, testing and vaccinations at hospitals, nursing facilities, foster care homes and other centers. 
– $67.6 million to cover the costs of testing and treating COVID-19-positive inmates and staff within the state’s prison system. 
– $25 million to test wastewater at prisons, dormitories, child care centers, long-term care facilities, and K-12 schools to assist in the detection and prediction of future coronavirus cases through a partnership with local health departments and universities.  
– $6 million to make sure COVID-19 response resources are secure, monitored and used appropriately. 
– $5.58 million for local health departments to help them immunize folks when vaccines become available. 
– $5 million to demobilize the TCF Center Field Hospital in Detroit and the Suburban Showplace Field Hospital in Novi, which were originally set up to handle any surge of COVID-19 patients. 
– $2.86 million to test at state military veteran homes. 
– $1 million for three full-time migrant housing inspectors and monitors. 
As part of this requested supplemental, lawmakers are being asked to authorize the spending of $10 million in additional federal money to continue reimbursing child care providers. 

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