(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer called on the state Legislature to provide more funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic during a press conference Tuesday.
She said Michigan is facing a budget shortfall of up to $1 million. She's calling on the Legislature to pass a permanent extension of unemployment benefits, which expire at the end of this month.
"If we don't take this bipartisan action now, thousands of Michiganders could lose benefits right after the holiday," she said.
She also urged lawmakers to pass legislation to protect public health, including a mask mandate that she says will help law enforcement and improve compliance.
Additionally, Whitmer said the state needs funding to begin preparations for vaccine distribution and administration.
"We as a state need to step up and make this a priority now," she said.
She said there is "significant" progress being made in the realm of vaccine development and will work to ensure an effective and safe vaccine is distributed.
She warned the next couple of months will be hard for the state, and that "too many" people traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday. She said the state expects to see numbers increase in the coming weeks and months as more people travel for the holidays.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
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