State lawmakers reach COVID relief deal

The Michigan House is expected to approve a budget deal that would extend unemployment benefits to thousands of laid-off Michigan workers until the end of March. The plan, approved by the Senate last Friday evening, includes $220 million dollars to extend unemployment benefits until April first and another $115 million for hospitals and nursing homes to find more help and give pay raises. The proposal also includes $79 million dollars to expand coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution including money to test more teachers. $63 million dollars would be used for small business survival grants to help owners affected by the shutdowns that have been in place throughout the pandemic. Michigan’s deal comes on the heals of a similar deal reached in Congress which would extend federal unemployment benefits and $600 checks sent to most Americans.