LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration said it wants lawmakers to quickly allocate $300 million in federal pandemic rescue funding to support COVID-19 testing at schools amid a fourth surge of infections in Michigan.
The money was included in the relief law approved by Congress and President Joe Biden in March. It is set to expire next summer and is part of a $2.5 billion supplemental spending request that state budget director Christopher Harkins sent to the Republican chairmen of legislative appropriations committees on Nov. 19.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccines Saved Nearly 20 Million Lives In First Year, Study Says
The GOP-led Legislature returned to session Tuesday after a two-week break.READ MORE: Michigan Ballot Initiative Aims To Protect Abortion Rights
“We’d really like to get that school testing money appropriated sooner rather than later,” said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the state budget office. “We would love to be able to help school districts isolate cases more quickly so that the schools don’t have to reduce in-person instructional days due to outbreaks.”
The Senate plans to begin advancing a $2.5 billion proposal to spend federal infrastructure and pandemic funds on water-quality upgrades, while the House intends to pass $250 million in public safety spending with a mix of federal and state aid. It is unclear if legislators and the Democratic governor will reach a deal in coming weeks.MORE NEWS: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
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