Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19 and its effects on housing, employment, and more.
Upcoming Virtual Event: Jobs and the Local Economy
There is no question that the pandemic has hurt workers and business owners. To shed more light on the situation, I will be hosting a Facebook Live Town Hall on Jobs and the Local Economy on Monday, August 24, from 1:30-3 p.m. Capital Area Michigan Works CEO Carrie Rosingana, Steve Japinga from the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Supplemental CEO owner Teena Rairigh will join me as special guests to talk about current job opportunities, job seeking during a pandemic, and the local climate for small business. If you have questions or specific topics you would like covered during this event, please leave a comment on the Facebook event or email KaraHope@house.mi.gov. I hope you can join us!
Back to School Decisions Currently Being Announced
Local school districts are currently deciding how to return to school this fall — if they will return in person, use a remote-learning model, or some combination of the two. The governor’s “Return to School” Roadmap currently permits in-person learning for all areas of Michigan with recommendations for protecting public health. However, the roadmap allows local school boards to develop their own plans for the next school year. Schools districts must announce their decisions and their safety plan by August 17. You can find more information about the reopening plans for school districts in the 67th House District here.
Emergency and Disaster Declaration Extended, National Guard Use to Continue
The state emergency and disaster declaration was extended through September 4, 2020. The state of emergency makes Michigan eligible for different federal funding sources. It also provides immunity for public employees working in a crisis situation.
The President recently authorized use of the Michigan National Guard for COVID-19 response through December 31, 2020.
Masks Required at Child Care Centers and Camps
Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order that requires masks at child care centers and camps. Specifically, the order requires the following:
- Staff and children age 2 and older are required to wear a mask while on a school bus or other transportation;
- Staff and children age 4 and older are required to wear a mask in indoor common spaces; and
- Staff and children age 12 and older are required to wear a mask when in classrooms, cabins, or in small groups indoors.
Face masks are not required during meal times, during high-intensity activities, while swimming, outside while physically distancing, or for individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering. This EO does not apply to regions of the state that are currently in Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, but masks are still strongly recommended in those areas.
Governor Recognizes Racism as a Public Health Crisis
The pandemic has underscored race-based disparities that already existed in the accessibility and quality of health care. But racism is systemic, and it affects nearly every area of life. To begin working to address these realities, Gov. Whitmer recently signed an executive directive that recognizes racism as a public health crisis and addresses this issue within state government. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been directed to work with other state departments to advocate for communities of color, including examining data on racial disparities and coming up with policies to address racial inequality. All state employees in Michigan will be required to undergo implicit bias training. The governor also signed an executive order that creates the Black Leadership Advisory Council. This Council will develop, review, and recommend policies to prevent racial discrimination and inequality in Michigan.
While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team is still providing responsive service as they work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at KaraHope@house.mi.gov if we can help.
67th House District