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Michigan relief funding withheld due to partisan divide

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Leaders in Michigan’s Republican-led legislature have been advocating for a return to in-person learning in the state’s schools, but are sitting on the money to help make that happen more smoothly.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said schools should be ready to be back in the classroom by March 1st.

She called on the GOP to hurry up and allocate two billion dollars in federal and state funds to make it easier for schools to get ready.

"Withholding dollars that could support our kids as we're trying to resume in person learning could really set back or create scenarios where we're not successful and that is not an option," said Whitmer. "And so I asked the legislature to work with me and let's get these resources that the federal government sent to us deployed.”

Senate Republicans don’t plan to use all of the federal funds – and want to use a piecemeal approach to dole out some of the money slowly over several months. Whitmer wants to use the money quickly in order to get it into the hands of those who need it, and to help distribute vaccines.