Last Saturday was the first day of summer, and it has definitely started to feel like it with some beautiful summer evenings.
With this weather, I am hoping that you have been able to get outside and enjoy time with family. After yesterday’s marathon day in session that lasted well into the night, I am certainly looking forward to spending time with my family.
As next week is the Fourth of July, many of us will be heading up north, gathering with family and celebrating. Please be safe and have fun.
If we can, we should be considerate by wearing masks in public, reducing our public activities and socially distancing. The state is moving quickly now through the re-opening phases, with Washtenaw in Phase 4 and expected to move to Phase 5 in the near future.
Phase 5 will allow the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Phase 5 also allows indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people.
During this time, my staff and I will not be in our Lansing office regularly. We will be in the 52nd District working to assist you and to advocate for our community’s needs. To reach out, please email me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
Please remember to wash your hands regularly, avoid direct contact with others and if you feel ill, please contact your health care provider immediately.
COVID-19 Michigan Statistics
At this time, Michigan ranks 7th in total COVID-19 tests administered, 9th in the nation for the number of positive COVID-19 cases, and has moved down to 8th in COVID-19 deaths. You can see our state’s COVID-19 statistics and data here.
State Total Confirmed Cases: 61,953
State Total Deaths: 5,868
State Total Tests: 110,789
Washtenaw County Total Confirmed Cases: 1,633
Washtenaw County Total Deaths: 103
Information is changing rapidly. We are working hard to share updates and information as quickly as possible on social media. Please take a moment to like and follow me on Facebook, as this is where information will first be shared.
Senate Bill 690 – FEDERAL CARES ACT FUNDING
The House passed the supplemental budget bill Senate Bill 690. SB 690 allocated $880 million from the federal government through the CARES Act for COVID-19 relief.
I proudly voted YES because this funding focuses on the priorities that matter most: building healthy communities, creating safeguards to help with basic needs, providing protection for those that protect us, investing in education and keeping our neighborhood business strong.
Here is the breakdown in funding: Public Health Funding
● $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.
● $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.
First Responders Funding
● $120 million to increase support for direct care workers.
● $100 million for additional hazard pay for first responders.
Basic Needs Funding
● $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.
Neighborhood and Small Business Funding
● $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.
Schools Will Return to In-Person Learning in the Fall
On June 30, Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap will be released and provide clarity on the recommendations and requirements for schools resuming in-person learning.
The Roadmap will set minimum health and safety requirements, although districts may choose to enact more stringent and aggressive requirements with input from local public health officials. The minimum requirements will apply to all schools – traditional public, charter, private and parochial schools.
While I am optimistic and was glad to hear this, there is much more work to be done in Lansing. This pandemic has severely affected our state budget, and with our school’s fiscal year starting on July 1, we do not know how much they will have to spend.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, my colleagues in Michigan’s Democratic Caucus and I are seeking federal support along with many other states to help close our budget funding gap and seeking greater flexibility in how schools receive and spend federal funding.
One of the ways that we can make sure we contain COVID-19 is by remaining vigilant and making sure that we get tested if we go indoors with groups of other people, especially as we start to reopen more of our state.
There are now multiple testing sites across Washtenaw County. Find them here.
Michigan has a 67.7 percent response rate for the 2020Census.
Thank you to everyone who, despite our challenges and uncertain times, are standing up to be counted.
The 2020 Census has huge implications for our state. Federal funding for our roads, schools, hospitals, police departments, social services, number of Congressional seats, and state legislature redistricting are determined by the census.
If you haven’t completed the 2020 Census, you still have time to do so online, by phone or by mail, if you still have the mailed form.
Complete the Census Online, find out how here.
Complete the Census by Phone, find out how here.
Complete the Census by Mail, find out how here.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
Virtual Town Halls
Out of an abundance of caution, all previously scheduled coffee hours and in-district meetings are cancelled. Tonight is my virtual town hall at 6 p.m. You can join me on either Facebook or Zoom.
To Join my Zoom/Facebook Live Town Hall Thursday, June 25 6 p.m.
To Join on Facebook, Click Here: State Representative Donna Lasinski Or
To Join on Zoom, Click Here: Zoom
Health Care Coverage
If you have lost your employer-provided health care due to layoffs, reduced hours, or a change in income during the COVID-19 crisis, please remember that you have up to 60 days to enroll in new coverage.
If you have questions, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services can help. Contact DIFS toll-free at (877) 999-6442 if you need assistance.
Find if you are eligible for the special enrollment period here.
Apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace here.
Small Business Assistance
As businesses reopen, there are going to be questions about how they can acquire PPE to protect their employees and customers.
The MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program has created a webpage specifically to connect businesses needing access to PPE – including face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other materials — with Michigan businesses that supply PPE.
The webpage can be accessed here.
The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) has released a comprehensive set of resources, guides and tips for small businesses preparing to reopen and operate safely as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This site also has a comprehensive list of sources for small businesses to obtain safety equipment and personal protection equipment. Visit the site here.
This is an extremely difficult time for those with mental health issues. They may not be able to see their doctors face-to-face, feelings of isolation and loneliness, or not being able to see loved may exacerbate conditions.
If you need someone to talk to, the state has launched a statewide, peer-run warmline for Michiganders living with persistent mental health conditions during this pandemic.
The warmline will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753).
It is intended to serve individuals living with persistent mental health challenges including anxiety, depression and trauma.
Individuals in crisis, including those considering suicide, are urged to contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 at (800) 985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at (800) 273-8255.
If you have yet to apply, please visit here to watch informational videos on how to apply or access your federal benefits application.
Visit here for the MiWAM toolkit to help you navigate the MiWAM website and properly set up your account.
If you have questions as you apply, or are unsure of what you will need to apply by clicking here for the UIA’s Unemployment Benefits FAQ.
For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit Michigan.gov/UIA or call (866) 500-0017.
Faith in Action is still proudly serving the families of Western Washtenaw County. If you need food assistance, or you know someone who might need help, Faith in Action is still operating and delivering food.
They can be contacted by calling (734) 475-3305.
Their hours of operation are:
M/W: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tu/Th: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday: closed
Meals for School Age Students
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Breakfast and lunch packages are available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. If you can’t make the pick-ups or have food allergy concerns, call the AAPS Food Service Hotline at (734) 994-2265. For more information, including pickup locations, visit here.
Chelsea School District
Food Service is providing sack breakfast and lunch meals for students from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chelsea High School commons entrance. If you do not have transportation, contact the district at (734) 433-2208 ext. 6082 to discuss alternative plans.
Dexter Community Schools
Drive-up pickup will be in the Mill Creek Parking Lot from 8:00-9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Families can pick up on both Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Each pickup will include breakfast and lunch for 7 days worth per child. For families who cannot come in to pick up food or have special dietary needs, we have established a hotline number to call (734) 424-4186.
Manchester Community Schools
Visit michigan.gov.meetupeatup for all of the school locations providing meals. These meals are available to all children ages 0-18 at no cost.
Governor Whitmer acted to protect workers from retaliation by their employers, if they stay home because one of their close contacts has tested positive for COVID-19: Click here for post and further information.
The Attorney General’s office has created a website to help you “know your rights” as an employee if you are still required to work during this time. Click here to learn more.
You can receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
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State Representative Donna Lasinski