Whitmer calls for “GI Bill” for health workers, store clerks

Apr 30, 2020

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer rolled out a plan Wednesday to help health care staff, retail workers and delivery people pay for college or job training.

Whitmer says the heroes of the COVID-19 crisis are the people who work directly with sick patients, who watch out for elderly, and make sure store shelves are stocked and food delivered to people sheltering at home.

“Each of these sectors of our economy has continued on because we depend on them, and so they deserve our thanks and our support.”

Whitmer has proposed a program that would be patterned after the post-World War II GI Bill to help workers who have not been to college get a degree or a professional certificate. She says using a future round of federal COVID-19 response funds would be an appropriate use of that money.

The governor also says she will decide when sectors of Michigan’s economy re-open, not the Legislature. Republicans have been pressing the Democrat to move more quickly to re-open more businesses.

The governor has amended executive orders to allow more businesses to re-open and workers to return to jobs where there’s less risk of people breaking social distancing rules.
Whitmer says this is not the time to engage in political negotiations over public safety.

“I’m going to make decisions not based on negotiation, but based on facts, and science, and data, and risk,” she said.