Lawmakers OK COVID-19 spending bills; budget chief concerned

May 14, 2021

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan legislators have approved mid-year spending bills, including billions of federal coronavirus relief to boost pay for frontline government workers, incentivize unemployed people to return to work, and upgrade infrastructure.

Under a $3.3 billion plan sent to the Senate by the Republican-led House, some federal funding would go toward payroll costs and free up state dollars to pay the Flint water crisis settlement instead of borrowing, and partially replenish an unemployment benefits fund.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration questioned the bill, saying federal guidance states COVID-19 funds cannot be used to pay down debt and finance legal settlements.