While some flood-affected residents await federal assistance, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reiterated Thursday that the state has already started their own plan for financial help.
Earlier this week, Whitmer signed a bill passed by the Legislature allocating $10 million for local governments to distribute to the families not covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration.
“So while $10 million is a good start, and it will make a meaningful improvement for a lot of people, we know that we’ve got a bigger infrastructure challenge and that our work is far from over.” –Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Speaking on Detroit’s east side, which was hit hard by widespread flooding after a late June storm dumped 6 inches on the area in a matter of hours, Whitmer said Thursday that money is only the beginning.
“So while $10 million is a good start, and it will make a meaningful improvement for a lot of people, we know that we’ve got a bigger infrastructure challenge and that our work is far from over,” she said.
Banks are willing to delay some mortgage payments, she said.
“My administration has partnered with financial institutions across the state to announce a plan that will allow impacted families to delay their monthly mortgage payments. This is a way to free up some cash so that they can cover expenses from everything from groceries to gas to starting the process of recovery.”
Whitmer said the state health department will also be involved with cash payments to people for home repairs and utilities. She has also asked the federal government for $50 million to improve pumping stations and repair damaged roadways.
No Vaccine Requirement for State Workers
After news broke that President Joe Biden will ask unvaccinated federal workers to prove they were vaccinated or wear masks and get tested regularly, Whitmer said she would not require state employees to be inoculated but they would have to wear masks while working indoors.
“If they are not vaccinated, they are required to wear masks when they are in the workplace. That is commensurate with a lot of workplaces across the state, and I think that’s the right policy,” she said.
Whitmer said initial reporting suggests that state employees are vaccinated at a rate that mirrors the general public: 63%. She said that’s not quite where scientists say we need to be. Initially state health officials had set a goal of 70% vaccinated.