Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you in Lansing. Please sign up for up-to-date news from the Capitol by going to www.repwitwer.com.
Help for Small Businesses
Small businesses can apply for the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative starting Dec. 15. This initiative will utilize federal CARES Act funding to award grants of up to $15,000 to small businesses across Michigan.
Save this link and check back for when the application goes live:
For additional information including resources for residents and small business owners to help navigate this difficult time, check out my office’s Covid-19 resources Google Drive folder.
If you are running into issues with your unemployment or need assistance, please reach out to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 373-0853 and we will submit a ticket to a UIA specialist to help get your problem resolved. Please provide the following when you reach out:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Case number, if possible
- Summary of issue
How I voted this week
I voted ‘yes’ on the following bills this week on the House floor:
House Bills 5729, 5731 and 5735: these bills provide an extension for driver’s license and vehicle registrations expiring after March 31, 2020. Licenses and registrations would be considered valid if they are renewed before March 31, 2021.
Senate Bill 71: Amends the Michigan Election Law to specify that a Program participant’s voter registration application would be confidential and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
For more details about any of these bills or to easily track their progress, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.
The 12-day extension of the MDHHS epidemic order aims to continue limiting residential and non-residential gatherings where COVID-19 spreads rapidly. Bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery only. Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place. Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes will be closed. Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators, but all other organized sports must not resume. Colleges and high schools may proceed with remote learning after in-person classes ended under the original epidemic order.
The extension leaves open work that can’t be performed from home, including manufacturing, construction and health occupations. Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining and parks remain open. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.
Michigan has seen fewer outbreaks associated with elementary and middle schools, and younger children are most in need of in-person instruction. In-person K-8 schooling may continue if it can be done with strong mitigation, including mask requirements, based on discussion between local health and school officials. Childcare also remains open to support working parents.
The teachers, childcare workers and health care professionals continue to serve on the front lines ensuring support for Michiganders across our state. We must take the extension of this pause seriously, not only for our own loved ones, but for every hero risking their life and the health of their family as we continue to battle this ongoing crisis.
MI COVID Alert App
MI COVID Alert is a free app for your mobile phone that will help Michiganders stay safe and protect each other. This app is easy-to-use and can:
- Alert you if you may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
- Advise you on what to do to protect yourself and others
- Alert other app users that you were in close contact with, if you test positive for coronavirus
Contact tracing is a vital part of slowing the spread of the virus; the more people that download and use the app, the more it will help our state’s existing contact tracing operation. The app does this by alerting you that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The app will not disclose the name of the contact or the location of exposure, but it will let you know that you were close enough (within 6 feet) for long enough (15 minutes or more), for there to be a risk that you could have been exposed to the virus. The app will then alert you and advise you on what to do next. Likewise, if you test positive for coronavirus, you can use the app to alert anyone you have been in close contact with.
For more information on how to use the MI COVID Alert app, click here.
For more information regarding the app’s privacy and data policies, click here.
For more information on the importance of downloading and using MI COVID Alert, click here.
Upcoming Community Events
I will be hosting a Weekly Wrap-Up with Witwer on Facebook live every Friday during session weeks at 11 a.m. to discuss highlights from the week and answer any questions you may have. I hope you can join us!