Peters: Next stimulus must include aid for state government

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Among the unanswered questions linked to the coronavirus pandemic is what the economy will look like on the other side and what the gap in tax revenue will mean for the state government’s ability to continue to offer vital services.

Michigan is looking at an estimated $3 billion hole in this year’s budget. Without some type of federal help, that could mean cuts to a broad swath of services, including K-12 school funding.

A new federal stimulus bill could help address some of that. While a plan from the Democrat-led House of Representatives may face long odds in the Republican-led Senate, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said helping local governments will be imperative.

“There is no question there is still need as we work through this crisis,” Peters told News 8 Wednesday. “I think we all want to reopen the economy in a safe fashion but we know in the meantime we have to provide the resources to help keep small businesses viable, to make sure families can put food on the table. And part of that is to support local governments, state and local governments, that are being impacted in a dramatic way. Revenues are dropping and yet the demand continues to go up, so I’m going to work to get additional funding for state and local government.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said a number of times that unless there is some federal help, the cuts in Michigan could be major. She is urging support of the latest stimulus plan in Washington.