While we wait out these last few weeks before spring, things in the Michigan Legislature have already begun to heat up. The last couple of weeks have been full of action as the 101st Legislature is working to pass supplemental funding bills that will get federal stimulus dollars where it is needed, legislation is being introduced and the budget process is underway.
I’ve heard our community in District 52 advocating for the resources we need to get vaccines into arms, schools operating safely, and rental and unemployment assistance. The governor’s budget proposal addresses these issues head on and I will be following this closely for proposed changes. You can also view the full budget proposal on the governor’s website here.
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 advocate for our community’s needs. To reach out, please email me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 52nd House District
COVID-19 Michigan Statistics
COVID-19 Vaccine Data:
State Total Vaccines Distributed: 2,964,575
State Total Vaccines Administered: 2,303,548
Washtenaw County Total Distributed: 140,925
Washtenaw County Total Administered: 106,111
State Total Confirmed Cases: 590,217
State Total Deaths: 15,558
Washtenaw County Total Confirmed Cases: 17,195
Washtenaw County Total Deaths: 237
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 cases have begun to rapidly increase in recent weeks.
You can find a testing site here.
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.
Virtual Town Hall with the Washtenaw County Health Department
Join the Washtenaw County Health Department and me on Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m. for my virtual town hall.
I’ll be giving an update on my work in the legislature, and then I’ll be joined by a representative of the Washtenaw County Health Department to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Washtenaw County.
Join my Virtual Town Hall
Thursday, March 4
7 – 8 p.m.
Facebook: State Representative Donna Lasinski
Federal Stimulus Funding
It has been almost 10 weeks since the federal government passed a stimulus bill that gave Michigan billions of dollars to increase COVID-19 testing, vaccine distribution, get our schools open, help renters and landlords, and add additional unemployment benefits.
My Democratic colleagues and I, along with Gov. Whitmer, are fighting to get this funding out so it can help those that need it most and speed up our state’s recovery.
Lifting the Pandemic Order Restrictions
This week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel signed two epidemic orders one relating specifically to gatherings and the other to nursing home visitation. You can view those orders more in depth here. These orders take effect on Friday, March 5 and the order runs until April 19.
- Increases max capacity in all other indoor recreational facilities to 300 persons
- Increases max capacity in all other outdoor recreation facilities to 1000
- Increase restaurant/bar capacity to 50%
- Increases capacity at retail settings to 50%
- Increases capacity at exercise facilities to 30%
Nursing Home Visitation
- Allows for visitation at facilities regardless of the county risk level
- Visitation may continue as long as the facility has not had a COVID case in the last 14 days (please note that this is a CMS requirement and a facility could be cited for non-compliance)
- Limited to two visitors per residents
- Rapid tests will be required for visitors 13 & over, subject to masking, and social distancing
- Opening up communal dining and group activities with appropriate precautions in place.
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.
As of 3/1/21, the following groups are eligible to schedule a vaccine:
- Health care workers and long term care facility staff/residents
- People 65 years old or older
- Some frontline essential workers with frequent or ongoing exposure as part of their work
- This includes first responders, police officers, jail and prison staff, pre-K-12 teachers, and childcare providers.
- Teachers and school staff under 50 years old can now submit a vaccine appointment request with the Washtenaw County Health Department.
- Food processing and agricultural workers
Please visit the Washtenaw County Health Department’s website to learn how you can sign up for a vaccine.
Eviction Diversion Program (EDP)
The Eviction Diversion Program (EDP) is designed to keep Michigan residents who fell behind on their rent during COVID-19 in their homes. The program utilizes a special court process to get fast rental assistance for renters who have been impacted.
Rental assistance in the amount of $50 million is available in the form of lump sum payments to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes, forgiving late fees and up to 10% of the amount due.
If you need help affording rent, visit here.
Step Forward Program – Help Affording You Home
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s Step Forward Program provides assistance to Michigan homeowners struggling with their mortgage, condo association fees, and property taxes to retain ownership of their primary residence. Learn more here.
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.
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
You can receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.