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Whitmer signs $106 million Michigan COVID-19 relief bill, extends unemployment benefits

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs Michigan's COVID-19 relief bill.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs Michigan's COVID-19 relief bill.(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 11:43 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Michigan’s $106 million COVID-19 relief bill into law.

The bill provides $55 million to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and $45 million in direct payments for workers who were laid off or furloughed due to the illness. Small businesses can apply for up to $20,000 grants while entertainment venues can apply for up to $40,000.

“I proposed this stimulus plan to the legislature in November because I know how much our families, frontline workers, and small businesses need relief,” Whitmer said. “This bipartisan bill will provide families and businesses the support they need to stay afloat as we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eliminate COVID-19 once and for all.”

Whitmer also signed a separate bill extending Michigan’s unemployment benefits to 26 weeks through the end of March 2021. She again asked the Legislature to approve a bill making the unemployment extension permanent.

“No Michigander should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said.

She issued a line-item veto blocking a $220 million “giveaway of taxpayer money” to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Whitmer said the veto will not affect benefits to any unemployed workers, because it only put money into the account that wouldn’t be paid out immediately.

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