Spring and (hopefully lasting) warm weather is just around the corner. I’m glad that we have more sunlight during the day, as it’s nice to have some daylight on my travels home from Lansing.
I’ve heard our District 52 community advocating for the resources we need to get vaccines into arms, schools operating safely, and rental and unemployment assistance, and I’ve taken action to get those resources. Last week, the House and Senate voted on supplemental funding bills that used federal stimulus dollars. Much of that funding was signed into law and now this week the Legislature will be working together with the governor to make sure the remaining funding goes to where it will help the most.
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.
State Representative, 52nd House District
COVID-19 Michigan Statistics
Michigan’s COVID-19 positive cases and deaths are increasing. Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and stay safe. You can see our state’s COVID-19 statistics and data here. You can view our state’s COVID-19 vaccine data here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Data as of 3-15-2021
State Total Residents Vaccinated: 2,015,532, 24.9%
State Total Vaccines Distributed: 3,798,535
State Total Vaccines Administered: 3,145,617
Washtenaw Total Residents Vaccinated: 86,456, 28.1%
Washtenaw County Total Vaccines Distributed: 169,815
Washtenaw County Total Vaccines Administered: 137,356
COVID-19 Data as of 3-15-2021
State Total Confirmed Cases: 612,628
State Total Deaths: 15,810
Washtenaw County Total Confirmed Cases: 17.737
Washtenaw County Total Deaths: 239
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.
This week is Sunshine Week. If you don’t know what that is, Sunshine Week promotes access to public information, freedom of information and FOIA, sunshine laws, open government meetings, and government transparency and ethics.
Right now, Michigan is one of just two states that exempts the governor and legislators from public records requests. A bipartisan 10-bill package was introduced this month to address this problem.
In the last two legislative sessions, I was a principal sponsor of this legislative package when they passed in the House. I’m proud to see this legislation be introduced again with even more bipartisan support.
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 in full here but below are some highlights. These orders take effect on Friday, March 3 and the order runs until April 19.
Nursing Home Visitation
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.
Earned Income Tax Credit
It’s estimated that each year thousands of Michiganders who are eligible for both the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits do not claim them. If a federal EITC is granted, the state of Michigan will provide a 6% supplemental EITC when the taxpayer files his or her state income tax return.
To learn how to claim this credit check here.
Home and Heating Credit
Anyone struggling with their energy bills can apply for the Home and Heating Credit through the MI Dept. of Treasury. All applications must be received before Sept. 30, 2021.
To learn more and claim this credit check here.
As of 3/8/21, the following groups are eligible to schedule a vaccine:
Please visit the Washtenaw County Health Department’s website to learn how you can sign up for a vaccine.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will administer the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program through its network of local nonprofit agencies starting March 15, 2021. CERA can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability.
You can find more information and apply for the program here.
Step Forward Program – Help Affording Your Home
MSHDA’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.
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 (DIFS) 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.