Last week the President announced a plan for extended unemployment relief for the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The Michigan Governor has chosen not to participate in that program and will skip payments to struggling residents. This move signals that the state leadership is not interesting in helping those who are poor financial condition and would rather use the money for other purposes.
This turn of events has become an example of the varied response to the virus from political leaders. While Trump and the White House work to create programs that help those who are struggling, the Governor of Michigan has chosen to tighten state restrictions and reduce relief for those on unemployment.
The CARES Act included a $600 a week unemployment booster payment that had recently expired. As congress struggles to work up an extension to the CARES Act or some other type of relief bill the country has been continuing to struggle. Instead of allowing the problems to manifest the President took unilateral action and announced four executive actions designed to rush relief to the American citizens.
One of the orders was a $400 replacement for the weekly $600 that unemployed were given in the CARES Act. The President issued $300 of it federally and compelled the states to make up the other $100. Unemployment programs are run at the state level and a foreign injection is very rare.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has better plans for that money. Instead of letting the money go right to those who need it, she’s chose to retain the $100 in the state of Michigan’s treasury for spending on other programs. Other states are complying with the program and residents of those states will receive the full $400 or potentially even more if their state chooses to make adjustments.