- James Townsend
Rep. Calley votes to approve key funding for Portland disaster relief
Rep. Julie Calley this week voted in favor of an emergency budget plan to provide disaster relief funding for the city of Portland, invest in workforce training programs and restore support for programs that help some of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.
Calley said the supplemental budget plan includes $164,000 to help reimburse the city of Portland for its response to the ice jam that caused flooding in February 2019. Ionia County and Portland officials previously submitted a request for disaster-relief funding but were denied by the Whitmer Administration.
“Our first responders and people all throughout the Portland community pulled together to get us through this disaster and keep families safe,” said Calley, of Portland. “The city’s resources took a huge hit. These funds will go a long way in helping our community recover.”
The emergency budget measures approved by the House also partially restore funding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed for Going PRO. The program – which provides training to enhance skills and talent of Michigan’s workforce through completive grants to employers – was in danger of disruption because of the governor’s actions as the new budget year began Oct. 1.
A new program called Michigan Reconnect also received funding. It will help adults 25 and older earn a certificate or associate’s degree connected to in-demand skilled trades.
“We’re working together to give people more opportunities to train for all of the in-demand jobs that are available in the trades right now,” Calley said. “Our state is expected to have 545,000 job openings in health care, information technology, manufacturing and other skilled trade fields by 2026.”
In addition, the measures partially restore funding in a wide range of areas that the governor vetoed or redirected by her use of the State Administrative Board, including:
$2.2 million for the Centers for Independent Living, which provides high-quality independent living services to people with disabilities.
$300,000 for Algebra Nation, an online algebra tool for students.
$2 million for the Michigan Education Corps, which helps students become proficient in math and reading.
$1 million in support for two long-term shelters for survivors of human trafficking.
$250,000 for the Adoptive Family Support Network to mentor adoptive parents and provide guidance to assist in the adoption process.
$300,000 to provide emergency shelter services to homeless and runaway youth.
$500,000 to provide legal advocacy for children who have been abused or neglected.
$1 million for Child Advocacy Centers, which provide support to children during and after the investigative process for mistreatment and abuse.
Senate Bills 151 and 373 received overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, and now advance to the Senate for consideration.