Help Us Keep Reporting. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Think tank offers guidance to keep Michigan strong amid coronavirus crisis

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 10:22 AM

click to enlarge A visualization of the coronavirus. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • A visualization of the coronavirus.

As state leaders assess the evolving challenges created by the COVID-19 outbreak, some policy analysts want to do their part to help keep Michigan residents healthy and financially stable.

Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, says the coronavirus pandemic has brought to light issues such as the need for paid leave and better access to health care.



She says these policy matters are in the league's wheelhouse.

"As we navigate during this crisis, this is really the time for us to step back and say, 'What kinds of systems changes do we need to make so that we — as a state and as a nation — can be more prepared for, God forbid, the next time something like this happens?'" she states.

The league has a new series of policy briefs examining families' various needs through the lens of the pandemic, including child care, housing, and paid family leave.

Jacobs says the recommendations build upon Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's actions to support workers and small businesses, as well as the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES Act.

Jacobs says unemployment insurance and access to health care are among the short-term needs for most Michigan families. And she contends stakeholders also need to examine the responsibilities of government moving forward.

"When the safety net was unraveled, methodically and systematically, by people who've been in office over the years, the idea was the faith communities, nonprofits, the foundation world can pick up these responsibilities," she states. "Well, we're finding out that that's just not enough. They're all affected by this as well."

Michigan lawmakers will soon be charged with distributing billions of dollars in federal relief, however Jacobs notes the relief is limited in scope and time. She says the state should prepare its own finances to help meet the longer-term needs of communities.

"We need to really be making some major changes in rural Michigan, too, in terms of access for folks for all of these different areas — food, child care, housing, broadband — things that are really coming to light right now," she says.

The policy briefs are online at mlpp.org, along with resources on COVID-19.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 1, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation