LANSING, Mich. — The state Legislature Tuesday evening unanimously approved funding to aid the state’s health professionals in slowing the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
“This funding will allow us to do our best to stay out in front of the issue and slow the spread as our state’s health professionals continue to monitor the situation,” said Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “With the unanimous approval of House Bill 4729, we have now dedicated $150 million toward tackling the spread of the virus.”
House Bill 4729 authorizes $50 million for health care needs and $40 million for other needs, and it sets aside $35 million for additional spending to be made available via legislative transfer if necessary. The funds are in addition to $15 million in set-aside funds and $10 million in readily available funds already passed and contained within Senate Bill 151.
Tuesday’s action also allows access to federal funding to help support efforts to combat the impact of the virus on our state.
In total, state funding so far breaks down as listed below:
- $50 million will assist with monitoring, laboratory testing, infection control and maintaining the critical functions of state government;
- $50 million will support expanding health care capacity, as well as critical payments to hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, nurses and testing labs; and
- $50 million will be dedicated to the Coronavirus Response Fund, set aside should the situation worsen.
All of this new funding will be subject to oversight by the Legislator Auditor General to ensure every penny is spent as intended.
“I know the last few days have been difficult with continuous changes and a whirlwind of information. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and follow the advice of our state and nation’s health care providers,” Bumstead said. “My colleagues and I in Lansing have been working with the governor to appropriate funding where it can be used most effectively and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.”
HB 4729 will now be presented to the governor for final approval.
Note: Information around COVID-19 is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. If you think you need to be tested or have a question about the virus, contact your health care provider. Additionally, the state of Michigan has a hotline, 1-888-535-6136, that is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.