Dear Neighbor:

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.

Additional $300 in Weekly Unemployment Benefits Approved

Last week, the Michigan House passed Senate Bill 745, which provides an additional $300 per week to individuals who are currently receiving a minimum of $100 in weekly unemployment benefits. This bill also includes $70 million to help the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency administer benefits. The governor signed this legislation into law last night; you can read more about it here.


Gyms and Pools Reopen, Organized School Sports Allowed

with Strict Safety Measures

Under an executive order signed last week, gyms and pools across the state can re-open, and organized sports can resume with strict protections. Gyms and pools may open today, Wednesday, Sept. 9. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, gyms and pools must require masks; set up to allow for six feet of social distancing; and provide cleaning products for equipment.

For indoor sports, each athlete may bring two guests to attend as spectators. For outdoor spectator sports, organizers can either implement the two guests per athlete rule or limit total attendance to 100 people or fewer, including athletes, coaches and staff.

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 2020-178 extends safety measures meant to reduce the spread of the coronavirus among 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. 30, 2020.

Long-Term Care Facility Protections Extended

Protections for residents and staff in long-term care facilities will continue through at least Sept. 30, 2020. Residential care facilities must use reasonable efforts to maintain separate units for residents who either test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19. This order also protects employees by ensuring they receive appropriate personal protective equipment. Under this order, residents cannot be evicted, and employers cannot retaliate if employees stay home because they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Emergency and Disaster Declaration Extended

Last week, the governor extended the state emergency and disaster declaration through at least Oct. 1, 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.

State of Michigan Launches COVID-19 Public Guidance Website

The State of Michigan has launched a website that keeps track of all the MI Safe Start restrictions by category and region. The MI Safe Start Plan sets out the criteria for reopening sectors of the economy. The site also outlines every executive order that has been issued since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and offers information about testing.

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 if we can help.


Kara Hope

State Representative