By Mike Kruzman /

A local lawmaker is supporting measures that support COVID treatments and will help ease the strain on the health care profession.

State Representative Ann Bollin, this week, voted in support of a $1.077-billion supplemental budget plan funded entirely by federal COVID relief dollars.

“COVID cases continue to strain our short-staffed hospitals and create challenges for schools and families,” Bollin said. “We’re offering support by investing in early treatments like monoclonal antibodies to help people recover faster and testing to keep kids in schools.”

The plan would expand the delivery of monoclonal antibodies to several additional sites across Michigan. Monoclonal antibodies can help lessen the severity of COVID cases and help patients recover more quickly. $134-million will be dedicated to buying and helping the delivery system of such a treatment and others, which could likely include a COVID treatment pill in the future. The plan also provides $300-million for health care employee recruitment and retention, along with additional support for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Additionally, $668-million will be provided for COVID testing. That includes $150-million for schools to buy testing kits directly and allow the state to stockpile additional tests for schools. Money would also be provided for private employers to test unvaccinated workers.

House Bill 5523 was approved by the House with bipartisan support.