Local govs not getting the help they need


On May 27, Rep. Jack Bergman led Members of the Michigan Congressional delegation in a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer regarding the State’s use of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

A recent study by the National League of Cities found that thirty-two states, including Michigan, are withholding Coronavirus Relief Fund resources from most local governments.

The Members are concerned that Michigan’s use of funds provided through federal dollars aren’t being appropriately distributed to the county and municipal governments across the State helping to fight coronavirus.  For example, the Members noted that the State has provided hazard pay to state police, but the local law enforcement officers have not been allowed this same opportunity.

The letter said in part, “We write to request information on how the State of Michigan has allocated federal resources through the Coronavirus Relief Fund established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). As the federal government continues to work with Michigan on efforts to address the impact of the coronavirus, we are interested to know how and where these funds have been deployed throughout the State.”

The Members continued, “Aside from the five Michigan localities that were eligible for direct funding, it is our understanding that Michigan has access to $3.08 billion in Coronavirus Relief Fund resources. The full allocation to the State, including the five large localities totals $3.8 billion.  With these considerations in mind, we ask that you provide an outline of your plan to use the Coronavirus Relief Fund.  

“In many parts of the State, our county and municipal governments have taken on a significant role in confronting the spread of the coronavirus. This has led to increased and unplanned costs for governments already operating on thin margins, and are now seeing a substantial decrease in revenue. Additional transfers of Coronavirus Relief Funds by the State to our local governments could be used to cover unforeseen expenses, like hazard pay for local law officers. While we are thankful Michigan has provided state police with hazard pay; county sheriffs, correctional officers in county jails, and other local law enforcement have not been afforded this same assistance from the State. We request that you provide an explanation for why the State has not facilitated hazard pay, such as through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, for these police and their families”

Read the full letter HERE


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