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 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!
Michigan House Passes Senate Version of ‘Return to Learn’ Package
The Michigan House voted on the Senate version of the “Return to Learn” education legislation yesterday. The initial version of the legislation first passed the House in June; the version that passed yesterday was the result of bipartisan negotiations between the governor and legislative leadership that culminated in Senate approval over the weekend.
This legislation bases the student count primarily on the student population from the 2019-2020 school year. Unlike the previous version of this package, these bills do not outsource online instruction to for-profit, private education management organizations. It also no longer requires in-person instruction for K-5 students.
You can view more details about the plan here: https://bit.ly/3h5b8YX
Back to School Plans Were Due Yesterday
Local school districts have decided how they will 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. School districts were required to announce their decisions and their safety plans yesterday. You can find more information about reopening plans for school districts in the 67th House District here.
Four Million Free Masks Will Be Provided to Michiganders
Gov. Whitmer announced on Friday that 4 million free masks will be provided to Michigan residents who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. This includes low-income residents, seniors, students, and residents of homeless shelters. Those who are interested in receiving a free mask can call the state COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 to find a distribution location.
COVID-19 Testing Required in Prisons and Jails
The governor recently signed an executive order that requires COVID-19 testing at the entry, transfer, and release of any prisoner. These protocols are required for all Michigan Department of Corrections facilities and comparable protocols must be used at any jail that transfers prisoners to state facilities. Transfers are suspended from jails that do not take these necessary precautions.
Safety Measures Extended for Grocery Stores and Pharmacies
Grocery stores and pharmacies must continue to offer designated shopping hours for members of vulnerable populations. Executive Order 2020-168 extends safety measures meant to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and protect seniors and other vulnerable persons. In addition to offering two hours of shopping time weekly to vulnerable populations, stores must use cleaning procedures that meet federal guidelines and perform daily health screenings of staff. These measures will continue through at least Sept. 7, 2020.
Long-Term Care Facility Protections Extended
Protections for residents and staff in long-term care facilities will continue through Sept. 7, 2020. Residential care facilities must use reasonable efforts to maintain separate units for residents who either test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19. Any employees working in the COVID-19 section of the home must be supplied with appropriate PPE. This order also protects residents from evictions and employees from retaliation if they stay home because they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
AG, SOS Warn Michigan Voters of Misleading Ballot Petition Pitches
The Attorney General and Secretary of State have warned voters to beware of misleading pitches for ballot petitions. Their offices have received several complaints of petition circulators incorrectly describing ballot initiatives to obtain signatures. Currently in Michigan, petition circulators are not legally obligated to tell you the truth about what you are signing. Before signing a petition, turn it over and read the back to see exactly what you are supporting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help.