Governor Whitmer Signs CARES Funding Bill With Money for Locals

Posted on July 1, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

Earlier today, the Governor signed Senate Bill 690, as expected. This $880 million spending bill is the first appropriation of the roughly $3 billion that the State of Michigan had been allocated under the Coronavirus Relief Fund established within the federal CARES Act stimulus plan from earlier this spring.

As previously outlined, this spending plan includes three separate line items designed to assist local units of government:

  • $200 million is available to reimburse local units of government for their public safety and/or public health payroll expenses for the months of April and May, 2020.  According to guidance recently updated by the US Treasury, …“in light of the emergency nature of this program, a State, territorial, local, or Tribal government may presume that payroll costs for public health and public safety employees are payments for services substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency“…  This funding will be distributed proportionally, based upon the total submissions that the MI Department of Treasury receives by July 17, 2020.
  • $100 million is available to provide grants for the payment or reimbursement of first responder hazard pay premiums.  First responders include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, 9-1-1 operators, local unit of government corrections officers, airport public safety officers, and eligible personnel associated with ambulance operations. No more than $5.0 million would be awarded to any applicant, and the maximum reimbursement amount would be capped at $1,000 per eligible first responder.  This funding will be made available on a first come basis.
  • $25 million is available for municipal water system assistance to reimburse water utility providers for providing bill forgiveness for arrearages and fees incurred by residential water customers during the COVID-19 state of emergency and for providing a 25% discount on the total water bill for eligible customers through the end of December 2020. Reimbursement for each arrearage would be capped at $700.  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will be managing the distribution of these funds.

The League has worked with the State Budget Office and Michigan Departments of Treasury and Health & Human Services to host a webinar at 2 PM on July 9th to provide guidance and instruction for local units of government to assist in accessing these critical funds.  All League members are encouraged to attend this webinar.  Register now as space is limited.  The League will be working closely with our member communities in advance of the July 17th deadline for some of these dollars to ensure every eligible community is able to take advantage of this funding.

Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and [email protected].

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