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MI Democratic leaders urge vote on COVID-19 response funds before spring recess

The Michigan State Capitol.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

This is the last week before the Legislature is expected to take its spring break.

The Legislature’s Democratic leaders said that recess should not begin without a vote on appropriating another round of federal COVID-19 response funds.

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) said that money could help schools pay for COVID safety measures as they’re being asked to offer at least 20 hours a week of in-person learning.

"This money is what public schools need now, that they should have received by today for a safe return to in-person learning," she said. "Not tomorrow, or a week from now. Today."

Under the Michigan Constitution, the state cannot spend or release the funds to local governments without the Legislature’s approval.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also called on the Legislature to adopt a new COVID-19 budget bills after she used her line-item veto power to reject GOP attempted restraints on her use of emergency powers.

Now GOP leaders want to use the appropriation of funds to act as a check on Whitmer’s use of those powers.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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