As we take the necessary steps forward to prepare for Michigan to safely reopen, I’m fighting to make sure the people of Troy and Clawson receive the support they need to thrive now and long after this crisis is over.
We continue to respond to constituents’ requests for help with unemployment issues, and want to hear your ideas on how to best support families, students, small and neighborhood businesses, and our critical workforce. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1783 or email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov, with ideas, questions or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 41st House District
Weekly Facebook Chats
When: Thursday, May 21, beginning at 6 p.m.
How: Facebook Live (@mireppadmakuppa)
Mental Health Town Hall
Join me for a virtual town hall with Special Guests
Michael Joy, President of Michigan Counselors Association, and
Penny Luebs, Oakland County Commissioner District 16.
When: Wednesday, May 20, beginning at 7 p.m.
Auto Insurance Town Hall
Join me for a town hall regarding auto insurance in Michigan, with special guests from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) and state Rep. Lori Stone.
When: Monday, June 1, beginning at noon.
To join, click here.
World Water Day
As we’ve continued to get back in the swing of things with the legislative session, I’m glad we were able to recognize an important day that passed back in March. World Water Day, held on March 22 each year, serves as a reminder of how vital access to clean, affordable water is to the health, safety and well-being of humans across the world, including right here in Michigan. This has become particularly important as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, with handwashing paramount to this goal. I introduced House Resolution 252 to recognize World Water Day and Michigan Water Day in 2020, which I’m proud to share was unanimously adopted by the House last week.
Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Projections
Last Friday, the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) convened to discuss economic and revenue figures for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year, along with projections for the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years based on the impacts of the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on estimates by the Michigan Department of Treasury, and the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies, the state expects to face up to a $6.2 billion budget shortfall over the next two fiscal years. Because our state’s budget is required to be balanced, this projected shortfall will likely force Michigan to make very difficult choices in the months ahead. And although these projections may seem grim, there are still steps available to both the state and federal government in order to limit the effects of this on Michigan’s future. We’ve fought the spread of COVID-19 together, and it’s together that we’ll get through this next chapter in Michigan’s story.
Return to Learning Advisory Council Executive Order
Also last Friday, Gov. Whitmer announced the creation of the Return to Learning Advisory Council through Executive Order 2020-88. This group will bring together Michigan students, parents, frontline educators, administrators and public health officials to provide the COVID-19 Task Force on Education within the State Emergency Operations Center with recommendations on how to safely, equitably and efficiently return to school in the fall. Some of the key issues schools must consider before opening include:
- Performing outreach to ensure the voices of stakeholders are included in the discussion of implementing the 2020-2021 school year in these challenging and uncharted circumstances.
- Ensuring experts in public health and epidemiology are informing the discussion of safely returning to school.
- Recommending actions to remove statutory and administrative barriers to delivering education before we are at Phase 6 of the MI Safe Start Plan.
- Recommending actions to develop and improve systems for remedial support for students who experienced learning loss during the spring and summer.
The Return to Learning Advisory Council will be made up of more than 20 members representing K-12 administrators and educators, health experts and community stakeholders. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, visit Michigan.gov/appointments and click ‘apply now’ under boards and commissions, with applications due by Wednesday, May 20.
Safely Reopening Northern Michigan
This afternoon, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order to allow for the reopening of two northern regions of the state beginning Friday, May 22, including the Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City region. This allows for retail businesses, some office work, and restaurants and bars with limited seating to begin reopening. All businesses that will reopen in these regions must adopt proper safety measures, practices and training, including:
- Workplace infection-control practices;
- The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; and
- How to report unsafe working conditions.
Restaurants and bars in these regions are required to limit their capacity to 50 percent of their normal seating to keep groups at least 6 feet from one another, along with requirements of servers to wear masks and other employees to follow rigorous disinfection protocols. This executive order still allows for cities, villages, townships and other local entities to choose to take a more cautious course of re-engagement if they wish.
For more information on Gov. Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan, click here.