Supplemental Funding and Reconnect Bills Awaiting Action: Governor Gretchen Whitmer has still not signed Senate Bill 151 (Stamas), the supplemental funding bill, into law. SB 151 includes $35 million to begin the Michigan Reconnect Grant Program, $16 million to partially restore the Pure Michigan campaign, and $15 million to partially restore the Going Pro Talent Fund. SB 151 also includes authorizations for several cost adjustments to previously authorized community college capital outlay projects. It is widely rumored that the Governor has spoken with legislative leaders and plans to veto ALL funding in SB 151 not related to the public health emergency. Monday, March 30, is the deadline for Whitmer to veto or line-item veto the bill without it becoming law.
In addition, the two bills that create the Michigan Reconnect Grant Program are also awaiting the Governor's signature. Both Senate Bill 268 (Horn) and House Bill 5576 (Frederick) were presented to Governor Whitmer on March, so she must act on them by Thursday, April 2.
No Legislative Session This Week: The Legislature did not convene on March 25 and is not expected to meet in person until April 7, 2020 at the earliest. That is the day the state of emergency declared by Gov ernor Whitmer will expire and it takes legislative approval to extend it. However, being able to safely bring back the House and Senate remains a very big question, especially with one House member who was at the session held on March 17 testing positive for coronavirus. In the meantime, legislative leaders have provided the Governor with a list of items requiring attention that could be handled legislatively, but which she can also address by Executive Order.
Unemployment Claims Skyrocket: There were 129,298 unemployment claims in Michigan from March 15 through March 21, the week the state took aggressive action in response to the new coronavirus outbreak. The week before, the state saw just slightly more than 5,000 claims. In total for the country, 3.28 million people filed unemployment claims from March 15-21. This marks the highest level of initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982.
Michigan Legislature’s website (bill tracking and committee meetings)
For the map of the community college districts, click here.