Earlier this year, my House Democratic colleagues and I introduced our Michigan Strong Plan to strengthen our communities and ensure every Michigander has the support they need to overcome the critical challenges caused by this unprecedented crisis. We’re proud to say that we’ve taken our first steps to deliver on that commitment.
On Wednesday, June 17, the Michigan Legislature overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 690 to provide funding for Michigan residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This bipartisan agreement allocates $880 million in federal coronavirus relief for the priorities our communities care about most.
A Strong and Healthy Michigan
- $200 million to support local public health and safety workers.
- $25 million for additional personal protective equipment (PPE).
- $5 million for hospital inpatient behavioral health grants.
- $1.4 million for additional nursing home inspectors to keep residents safe.
Safeguards to Help with Basic Needs
- $29 million for increased Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) staffing and technology support to process claims quicker and more efficiently.
- $125 million to help with the cost of Day Care.
- $4 million to support domestic violence shelters.
- $10 million for the food banks and the Double Up Food Bucks program.
- $60 million for rental assistance, eviction diversion and legal aid.
- $25 million for water utility assistance.
- $10 million in Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) response grants to keep workers safe.
- $5 million for multicultural social services organizations.
Protecting Those Who Protect and Serve Us
- $120 million to increase support for direct care workers.
- $100 million for additional hazard pay for first responders.
Investing in Education
- $25 million for devices to improve internet connectivity for low income and rural families.
- $18 million in school district grants to support the health and safety of both students and teachers.
Keeping Neighborhood Businesses Strong
- $100 million for Small Business Restart Grants for businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees, and dedicated support for minority, women and veteran owned businesses.
- $2.5 million in grants for hospitality businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.
- $15 million to support Michigan farms and farmers, as well as improving housing accommodations to keep workers safe.
The U.S. Secret Service and the Office of Inspector General are working with states across the country to reduce the risk of international criminals attempting to unlawfully access unemployment benefits at a time when residents need that support the most.
Although Michigan hasn’t been targeted yet, the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is proactively taking steps to authenticate claims — including asking some claimants to submit additional information. If you or someone you know has received a notice regarding your claim, you’ll find more information below.
For claims that require additional information:
- The UIA will send residents Form UIA 6347 Request for Identity Verification by U.S. Postal Service mail, which will provide a mailing address or fax number for submitting ID verification documents.
- For faster processing, UIA encourages residents to upload copies of the requested documents electronically to their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM).
In addition to Form UIA 6347, residents will also be asked to provide their:
- US Passport or US Passport Card,
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card
- Driver’s licenses or ID card AND
- Social Security Card, or
- Original or certified copy of birth certificate
How to upload documents to MiWAM:
- Login to MiWAM account and under “I Want To”, click “Send Unemployment a Message” to upload required documents. Documents may be sent by message 24/7.
Tips to Prevent Unemployment Identity Theft
When individuals file a claim for unemployment, they receive a written Monetary Determination letter. If you receive this letter and have not applied for benefits, or the name listed is not yours, be sure to contact UIA immediately online at Michigan.gov/UIA and click on the “Report Identity Theft” icon or call the customer service hotline at (866) 500-0017.
If you believe you’re the victim of identity theft, you can place fraud alerts on your credit reports for free through Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You only need to contact one credit bureau and they will contact the others for you.
- Guard your Social security number. Give it out only when absolutely necessary.
- Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal information like your name, birth date or bank account number by phone, mail or online.
- Shred your receipts, credit card offers, account statements and expired cards to prevent individuals from acquiring your personal information.
- Review your credit report at least once a year to be certain it doesn’t include accounts you haven’t opened.
- You can access your free annual credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax at com or by calling (877) 322-8228.
You can find additional tips to keep yourself protected by clicking here.
Attorney General Proposes Police Reform
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently announced seven proposals as part of a series of actions for police reform. The proposals seek to increase transparency surrounding law enforcement agencies and ensure accountability from and for law enforcement officers.
In 2016, the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) began requiring law enforcement officers in the State of Michigan to be licensed. But, in many respects, MCOLES lacks sufficient authority to oversee law enforcement professionals and to revoke the licenses of police officers who demonstrate poor moral character or violate the public trust.
The proposals aim to create oversight for law enforcement agencies and their officers similar to many of the professions and professional licenses required across the state, along with a comprehensive approach to evaluating misconduct complaints and imposing disciplinary actions by a single agency, MCOLES.
The proposals include:
- Authorizing MCOLES to suspend or revoke a license when an officer: (a) engages in conduct that adversely affects the ability and fitness of the police officer to perform his or her job duties; or (b) engages in conduct that is detrimental to the reputation, integrity or discipline of the police department where the police officer is employed.
- Mandating that law enforcement agencies maintain all disciplinary records of a police officer in his or her personnel file.
- Requiring MCOLES to create a statewide misconduct registry of verified claims that is accessible by the public.
- Amending the Public Employee Benefits Forfeiture Act (MCL 38.2701, et al.) so that officers forfeit their retirement benefits upon conviction of a felony related to misconduct while on duty.
- Mandating law enforcement agencies report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion and age.
- Creating an independent investigative and prosecutorial process for deaths that involve the actions of law enforcement officers.
- Requiring continuing education for law enforcement officers as a license requirement; improving and standardizing police policies and training (including de-escalation, cultural competence and implicit bias training).
In the coming weeks, the Attorney General will meet with members of the Legislature, community groups, advocacy groups, law enforcement agencies and other relevant stakeholders to discuss these proposals in addition to other potential areas of reform.
State Representative, 95th House District