Legislature Approves Spending To Combat COVID-19
March 13, 2020
By Jessica Mathews/News@whmi.com
The Michigan Legislature has approved spending up to $25 million to combat the new COVID-19 coronavirus.
Michigan now has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Officials say all the new cases are adults — three in Kent County; two in Oakland County; two from Washtenaw County; and one each from Ingham, St. Clair and Montcalm counties. A total of $25 million will assist in virus monitoring, testing, infection control, and continuation of critical state government functions. The plan also addresses several budget items partially vetoed by the governor during the last budget cycle, including funding for the Algebra Nation program.
Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township voted in favor of the emergency budget plan to help combat the spread of the virus. She says the plan will restore $300,000 funding for Algebra Nation, which provides an online algebra tool for Michigan students, and other states have implemented the tool resulting in higher test scores for students as a result. Bollin believes the tool will give a boost to student achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in Michigan. She says a strong algebra foundation is essential for student success in these subjects and ensuring Michigan students have access to a great STEM education is critical to ensuring their future competitiveness and the competitiveness of the State of Michigan. The plan also allocates $300,000 in funding to public and non-public schools for FIRST Robotics programs. FIRST Robotics is a program for students to design, build, and compete in tournaments using robots and provides hands-on STEM education opportunities for students.
The supplemental budget bill approved Thursday is expected to be signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.