Community Press Release – Office of Governor Whitmer

Investing in Infrastructure and Childcare

State of Michigan – January 21, 2022

Dear Michigander,

As I prepare for the 2022 State of the State address on January 26th, I am focused on issues that are important to all of us here in Michigan. Today, I am proud to share some major strides forward in two of these issues: childcare and infrastructure.  

Our childcare professionals have done so much for us over the past few years. They care for our kids and give them a safe environment while families are working or going to school themselves. This month, we were able to deliver over 38,000 childcare workers a much-deserved bonus to thank them for what they’re doing for our kids and communities. We also received resources to make the largest ever investment in Michigan bridges, after already repairing or replacing 903 over the past three years. This supports thousands of good-paying jobs for Michiganders and keeps our commutes safe.  

We know that our communities, economy, and state cannot reach its potential without a strong childcare system and safe, reliable roads and bridges. I look forward to sharing with you my vision to further invest in these areas at the State of the State as we celebrate our great state and our enormous potential for prosperity.  

COVID-19 Testing

We know that COVID-19 testing is a huge part of how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. Recently, new resources have become available to help families access COVID-19 tests. I strongly encourage folks to take advantage of the federal government’s free COVID-19 testing program. At home, rapid COVID-19 tests are available for free at, with every household eligible for four free tests that will be shipped directly to your home. Order COVID-19 Tests

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has worked to ensure Michiganders have access to testing to help limit the spread of the virus. Since October 2020, more than 7.1 million antigen and over the counter COVID-19 tests have been distributed to provide testing for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. To help ensure rapid testing is available to schools, long-term care facilities, jails, homeless shelters and for seasonal workers, I have asked MDHHS to begin distributing more than 200,000 test kits to schools and other priority groups, with another 100,000 slated to go out this week. When all is said and done, January 2022 will represent the largest distribution of tests in a single month from the MDHHS program. During this unprecedented Omicron surge, we are doing more than ever to meet this challenge before us. 

Additionally, as of January 15, private insurers are now required to cover up to eight FDA-approved over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month for each person covered by a health plan. Thanks to this new rule, for example, a family of four can get 32 tests every month, saving that family at least $384 per month. This new health insurance benefit will help expand access to at-home COVID-19 testing for Michiganders.  

As insurers work to implement this new coverage, you should save receipts and boxes for COVID-19 tests purchased beginning Saturday, January 15 so you can submit them for future reimbursement. I strongly encourage every Michigander with health insurance to take advantage of this benefit. 

COVID tests
Photos provided by Office of Gov. Whitmer, State of Michigan

Another program helping Michiganders access COVID-19 testing is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan libraries. This pilot program is starting in Calhoun, Clare, Newaygo, Oceana, and Saginaw counties and the City of Detroit. Each participating library in these areas received 300 COVID-19 at-home test kits that each include one test. Additional supplies will be sent to these sites as needed and more libraries will be added to distribution in the coming weeks. For more information, visit  

Bonuses for Childcare Workers

Part of my commitment to Michigan families is investing in quality, affordable childcare. Many Michigan families rely on childcare to keep their children safe, happy, healthy, and learning while they work or go to school. Thanks to bipartisan efforts, 1 in 3 kids from birth through age 12 are now eligible for low or no-cost childcare. Michigan’s economy – and its workers – cannot thrive without a strong childcare system.  

That is why during my administration, I have worked across the aisle to secure the largest investment in childcare in the state’s history. Last week, I announced a $365 million investment in childcare programs across Michigan. This funding helps keep our childcare businesses open, makes childcare more affordable for families, and delivers bonuses to childcare professionals. Nearly 6,000 childcare programs received funding through the Child Care Stabilization Grant, and we provided bonuses to over 38,000 childcare workers. Full time staff received a $1,000 bonus and part time staff $500. These grants are an investment in not only childcare professionals, but also the future of our children.  

The next round of grants will be available March 2022 for licensed childcare providers. Childcare programs that received the fall grant can still apply for and receive the spring grant as well. Visit and watch for more information about how to apply in early March.  

Largest Investment in Michigan Bridges
Photos provided by Office of Gov. Whitmer, State of Michigan

Watch this video to learn more about the Gordie Howe Bridge project

Thanks to the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Michigan is expected to receive $563.1 million over five years to build repair, or replace bridges – the biggest investment ever in Michigan’s bridges. This investment will improve countless commutes, fix the bridges in need of some TLC, and keep our families safe on the road. 

This funding will also support thousands of good-paying jobs for Michiganders, helping our economy prosper while we make Michigan a better, safer place. My team will work with our federal and local partners to invest this historic number of resources into communities in every region of Michigan. Together, we will continue to build up our infrastructure the right way to ensure it stays in good condition for generations of Michiganders.  

Since day one, I have been focused on fixing the damn roads and I am proud of the progress we have made to fix 13,198 lane miles of road and 903 bridges over the last three years. With the federal dollars coming in, I established the Michigan Infrastructure Office to effectively invest these resources in communities across every region of our state. By establishing this office, we can move forward together to put Michiganders first.  

2022 State of the State Art Contest Winner
Art Contest Video
Photos provided by Office of Gov. Whitmer, State of Michigan

Michigan is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, but it’s also home to some incredible students who turned those backdrops into amazing works of art. I am so thankful for each of the nearly 800 students who took the time to create masterpieces and submit a piece to the 2022 State of the State art contest with their interpretation of why they believe in Michigan. It is inspiring to see the passion and potential in all the gifted and creative students in this great state.

With that being said, I am proud to announce that Grace Murtha, a 7th grader at Hemlock Middle School, is the winner of this year’s contest. We are so fortunate to have Grace’s artwork for our program cover for the 2022 State of the State, which you can see featured in the video above. I look forward to sharing my comprehensive vision for Michigan at this event, which will address key issues to put Michigan first: jobs, education, infrastructure, and economic progress.

Once again, congratulations, Grace!


Governor Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer
Governor of Michigan

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