Gov. Whitmer wants free college for front-line virus workers

Virus Outbreak Michigan
Posted at 7:06 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 11:24:42-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday proposed free college for health care workers and others involved in the coronavirus fight, likening their service during the pandemic to soldiers who got a free education after returning home from World War II.

The program would require approval from the Legislature and begin by January 2021. Whitmer did not disclose the cost during a briefing with reporters, but said the money would come from the federal government.

“It’s the right thing to do for those who have served on the front lines of this crisis,” said Whitmer, who mentioned child care workers, grocery store employees and nursing home staff.

Separately, the governor said the state will spend $130 million to help child care providers stay afloat, including those serving essential workers. Those getting a grant must reduce their weekly rates by at least 10% and care for children of essential workers regardless of where parents work.

Grants start at $1,500 for home-based providers and $3,000 for child care centers, but could be higher.

Whitmer, who is gradually easing stay-at-home restrictions on businesses, said residential and commercial construction can resume May 7.

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