FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Announces $13.4 Million in AmeriCorps Funding to Meet Local Needs, Strengthen Communities
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Community Service Commission will receive $13.4 million in federal funds to support over 1,100 Michigan AmeriCorps members who work hand in hand with organizations across the state to help communities tackle their toughest challenges.
“Today’s AmeriCorps investments will help us grow Michigan’s economy and ensure every community can thrive,” said Governor Whitmer. “These investments – and the over 1,100 dedicated AmeriCorps members who will serve those in need and address critical challenges – will continue to make a tremendous impact in communities in every region of Michigan. Together, let’s help our working families and resilient communities thrive.”
During the last program year, similar investments helped AmeriCorps members serve 32,231 youth, treat 1,073 acres of public land, provide housing and financial services to 4,404 individuals and increase disaster preparedness for 4,300 individuals.
“AmeriCorps service continues to help solve pressing issues across the state,” said Michigan Community Service Commission Executive Director Ginna Holmes. “There is a tremendous return on investment through the federal funding of AmeriCorps and the positive impact this service has on communities across the state.”
AmeriCorps funds will support 23 Michigan organizations through 28 subgrants to expand their reach and impact in Michigan communities.
Those organizations include:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Delivers $1,000 Bonuses to Nearly 38,000 Childcare Professionals
5,500+ childcare providers receiving $368 million in grants to provide $1,000 staff bonuses and keep childcare facilities open for Michigan families
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer continued her commitment to expand access to quality, affordable childcare for Michigan families by awarding $368 million in grants to childcare programs across the state. Over 5,500 childcare programs received funding through the second round of the Child Care Stabilization Grant. These funds will keep programs open for business and provide $1,000 bonuses for full-time staff.
“Michigan thrives when every family has access to quality, affordable childcare that meets their needs,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I worked across the aisle to secure a historic investment in childcare—including grants to stabilize and strengthen the childcare industry and bonuses for childcare professionals. Thanks to the Child Care Stabilization Grant, over 5,500 childcare programs can keep their doors open, hire more qualified professionals, and continue to improve supports for kids and families. All our kids deserve a strong start. These grants are another investment in their future and our state’s prosperity.”
“As a father, I know the importance of having skilled, childcare professionals to care for our children. That’s why Governor Whitmer and I continue to fight to pay childcare professionals a living wage,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “These bonuses are a small step toward our bigger goals to improve compensation for childcare professionals and support childcare entrepreneurs—all while keeping care affordable for working families.”
These grants were part of a bipartisan budget Governor Whitmer signed that included game-changing investments in childcare and delivered on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to families, communities, and small businesses.
Grants were awarded to licensed centers, group homes, family homes, and tribal childcare providers. Funds may be used to lower tuition costs for families, increase compensation for early educators, recruit and train new staff members, improve learning environments, and more.
“The Child Care Stabilization Grants have uplifted the morale of the center. Staff and families are feeling heard and seen,” said Nawal Alsaeed, associate director of Kreative Kids Learning Center in Inkster. “Our staff is feeling recognized and validated and they are motivated to continue in the field of early childhood. Two staff members have gone back to school and are earning degrees in education. I have another two staff members who have registered for CDA credentials. These funds will be the catalyst to continued growth of child care businesses.”
“Thanks to this grant we were able to give our staff bonuses and upgrade our facility with an emphasis on safety and accessibility,” said Jeff and Yvette Fredricks, owners and operators of a group home in Saginaw. “We were also able to provide our families with peace of mind by providing relief in case of unexpected times and unforeseen circumstances by way of our ‘Parent Forgiveness Grant Fund’ — which helped families pay their tuition balance when times were tough.”
“I have been running a quality, caring, and loving in-home daycare for 26 years. I have been through many life challenges and changes through the years with some very hard moments. I have always kept my program going without taking sick days and rarely time off,” said Shari Marceau owner and operator of Shari’s Early Learning Center, a home-based childcare in Marquette. “I am extremely thankful for this money! I feel this is my first bonus in this career.”
“These grants have been a critical lifeline to providers who are fighting to stay in business and serve families and children throughout Michigan,” said Lisa Brewer Walraven, director of Child Development and Care in the Office of Great Start at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). “It has been our privilege to provide this ongoing support to the operational costs of childcare providers and ensure those who are working in the programs are supported and recognized for the important value of the work they do.”
The Child Care Stabilization Grant is a non-competitive grant for childcare programs to help stabilize operations and support the health and safety of children and staff. Eligible licensed childcare programs applied for funding in spring 2022.
Staff in the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Care worked diligently with the support of partners across the state to manage and process the grants to ensure that all eligible childcare providers were able to apply for and receive the funds as quickly as possible. Additional information about the program is available at Michigan.gov/childcare.
Oakland County Health Division Offers COVID-19 Vaccine for All Eligible Ages
- Doses for 6-month-old to 5-year-old residents available at Oakland County Health Division beginning Wednesday.
- Oakland County Health Division Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust encourages parents and guardians to get the COVID vaccine for their children before they begin school.
Pontiac, Michigan – COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old will be available at Oakland County Health Division clinics in Pontiac and Southfield beginning Wednesday, June 22, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved emergency use authorization for these doses over the weekend. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To make an appointment, visit OaklandCountyVaccine.com or call the Oakland County Nurse on Call hotline at 800-848-5533.
“Oakland County parents will have many options where they can vaccinate their children to protect them against COVID,” Oakland County Health Officer Calandra Green said. “The Health Division is among hundreds of providers throughout the county administering COVID vaccine to our youngest residents including pediatricians, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and other locations beginning this week.”
When the CDC authorized emergency use of the pediatric dose (ages 5-12 years old) of COVID vaccine, a majority of Oakland County parents and guardians opted to have their children receive the vaccine at a pediatric or other private or non-profit clinic setting.
Oakland County Health Division Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust encourages parents and guardians to get the COVID vaccine for their children this summer.
“COVID-19 vaccines have undergone extensive safety monitoring,” Faust said. “All children should get vaccinated, especially before we begin the new school year in September.”
Oakland County has about 66,000 residents ages 6 months to 5 years old.
Contact your doctor or local pharmacy prior to visiting to determine vaccine availability. Doses for all ages are available at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N Telegraph, Building 34E, in Pontiac and the South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Rd., in Southfield from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday. For more information or to register for an appointment, go to OaklandCountyVaccine.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2022
Governor Whitmer Signs Bills to Lower Health Care Costs and Increase Public Safety, Among Other Legislation
LANSING, Mich. — On Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed six bipartisan bills — House Bills 4173, 4799, 4800, 5659, and 5660 and Senate Bill 447 — bringing the total of bipartisan bills signed by Governor Whitmer to 865.
“I am proud to sign six bipartisan bills,” said Governor Whitmer. “Since I took office, I have signed 865 bipartisan bills, and our record of effective collaboration will help us stay focused on growing Michigan’s economy, creating good-paying jobs, and lowering costs. Let’s continue to work together to get things done that put Michiganders first.”
Lowering Health Care Costs
Senate Bill 447 fosters more competitive health care pricing by increasing transparency surrounding costs and coverage. This bill requires an insurer to provide a large employer group customer with specific information about costs of its insurance plan upon request.
“Everyone knows insurance is a major cost in our lives. I’m glad the legislature and the Governor were able to support this change which can lead to greater transparency and lower insurance costs for the people of Michigan,” said state Senator Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway Township)
Senate Bill 447 was sponsored by Sen. Dan Lauwers, R – Brockway Township, and a copy can be found here.
Increasing Public Safety in Communities
House Bill 4173 will help communities stay safe by increasing the maximum allowable reward that county boards of commissions can offer and pay an individual for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of criminal suspects. Under previous law, the reward was limited to $2,000.
“This common sense law will improve public safety and help with criminal investigations. I’m grateful that this additional tool will be available to Michigan counties,” said state Representative Kara Hope (D-Holt)
House Bill 4173 was sponsored by Rep. Kara Hope, D – Holt, and a copy can be found here.
Expanding Renter Rights
House Bill 4799 creates the Michigan Uniform Assignment of Rents Act (MUARA) which provides and regulates rights and responsibilities for renters, landlord-borrowers and creditors. House Bill 4799 was sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, R – DeWitt, and a copy can be found here.
House Bill 4800 is tie-barred to House Bill 4799 and specifies that an action to enforce an assignment of rents under MUARA would not be an action to recover debt for the purposes of foreclosure.
“The work done on this bipartisan legislation will bring needed stability and clarity to our Uniform Assignment of Rent laws,” said state Representative Kyra Harris Bolden (D-Southfield).” I am proud to have worked across the aisle to revise outdated statue with common sense solutions that will benefit Michiganders.”
House Bill 4800 was sponsored by Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden, D – Southfield, and a copy can be found here.
Protecting Vulnerable Michiganders
House Bills 5659 and 5660 together increase transparency in adult care facilities and nursing home facilities by requiring reports containing feedback and input from inspectors of these facilities that are regulated by the Bureau of Community Health Systems.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2022
Gov. Whitmer Urges President, Congress to Temporarily Pause Federal Gas Tax
Letter highlights actions that would offer real relief to working families facing rising prices right now
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Biden urging him to work with Congress to temporarily pause the federal gas tax. Getting this done would offer families facing high gas prices real relief right now. She also listed proposals she has put forward at the state level and encouraged other states to follow suit.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear President Biden:
Americans are feeling the pain at the pump. This month, gas reached $5 a gallon nationwide. For working families in Michigan from Macomb to Marquette who are facing rising prices on everyday expenses, this is unsustainable. While the causes are varied, from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia to ongoing supply chain challenges, the pain being felt by people is tangible. We have all seen it, heard it, or felt it ourselves. I am grateful to you for releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but we must do more to help families.
I write to you today to urge you to work with Congress to temporarily pause the federal gas tax. In March, I led a group of governors to support of this proposal.
Getting this done would save families money right now. As Americans bear the brunt of inflation and face rising prices on everything from groceries, childcare, rent, and other critical expenses, the federal government has the ability to reduce the price of fuel and put more money in their pockets. Getting this done will offer real, immediate relief without compromising the federal government’s ability to make infrastructure investments.
Here in Michigan, you have a willing partner in providing relief to families and putting more money in people’s pockets. In March, I called for a temporary suspension of the state sales tax on gas, and last month, I proposed MI Tax Rebate Right Now, a plan to send $500 to Michigan’s working families right away. We can take this step because of our effective fiscal management and hardworking people and small businesses, who helped our state bring in billions in additional revenue. MI Tax Rebate Right Now proposes sending some of that revenue back to Michiganders because they need it now more than ever.
I will work across the aisle with the Michigan Legislature to get this done and use every tool at my disposal to ensure working families can pay the bills and put food on the table.
The American people are counting on all of us to provide real relief right now so they can pay the bills and put food on the table. Let us draw on the grit and determination our working families show every day. I urge you to work with Congress to temporarily pause the federal gas tax, and I pledge to continue finding creative ways to put money back in people’s pockets.
Governor of Michigan