Senate sends $385M in spending for flood damage, hospitals and childcare to Whitmer

    Flood damage in Detroit | Ken Coleman photo
    Updated, 1:18 p.m. 7/15/21 with Biden’s action

    The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a $385 million spending plan that would help Southeast Michigan recover from flooding, boost childcare reimbursement rates, aid hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic and more.

    President Joe Biden on Thursday approved a national disaster declaration for Wayne and Washtenaw counties.

    The Senate voted 35-0 on the bill that mostly uses federal COVID-19 relief money. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget supplemental also includes $17,000 from the state General Fund.

    Senate Bill 27, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland), will head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. The House passed the bill on June 30.

    The bill includes:

    • $160 million to hospitals to help cover increased costs and reduced revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • $100 million to long-term care facilities to provide a $23 per day increase to nursing facilities that have seen a census decline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • $2.7 million for Michigan State Police Secondary Road Patrol
    • $105 million in federal funding for the Department of Education to increase childcare provider reimbursement rates for childcare centers, group home providers, registered family homes and licensed exempt providers by 40% above the rates in effect on Sept. 30, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021
    • $10 million in General Fund money for the Emergency and Disaster Response and Mitigation line for MSP to cover costs related to the June 2021 weather events
    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.