Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19 as well as other news from your state government.
Upcoming Event: Virtual Coffee Hour with Special Guest Rep. Anthony
Please join me for a coffee hour this Monday, May 24, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. My colleague, state Rep. Sarah Anthony (Lansing), will join me as my special guest. The event will be streamed on my Facebook page. We will give a legislative update and answer any questions you may have.
Upcoming Event: Redistricting Town Hall
This Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m., my office will host a virtual town hall on communities of interest and the redistricting process. Special guests from the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, Voters Not Politicians, and the Lansing League of Women Voters will join the panel. If you would like to attend this event over Zoom, please RSVP here. The event will also be streamed over Facebook Live.
House Voted On FY 2022 Budgets, Community Colleges Face Funding Issues
Last week, the House of Representatives voted on several department budgets for fiscal year 2022. One of the budgets that passed the House drastically changes the funding formula for community colleges. This change means that Lansing Community College will receive no increase in funding. In fact, it’s one of only two community colleges in the state that won’t receive an increase, as it stands. I spoke out on behalf of our community colleges and the great opportunity they provide to both traditional and non-traditional students. My amendment to restore funding to LCC didn’t pass, but my commitment to expanding access to education and career training is as strong as ever.
You can watch my floor speech here.
Active Work Search Requirement to be Reinstated for Unemployment Claimants
Beginning May 30, the Unemployment Insurance Agency will once again require claimants to actively seek work by reporting one “work search activity” per week. Work search activities include applying for jobs, participating in virtual job fairs, or searching online for jobs. This requirement has been waived since March 2020 due to the high unemployment numbers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pfizer Vaccine Approved for 12- to 15- Year Olds
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has now been approved for children ages 12- to 15- years old. This means that everyone age 12 and older in Michigan is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to the health department, Sparrow Health Systems, McLaren Greater Lansing, Rite Aid, Meijer and other pharmacies are administering the vaccine.
Food Assistance Benefits Increased
An additional 350,000 Michigan families will receive federal food assistance benefits this month. Households that already receive food assistance benefits will receive an increase of at least $95 monthly, with every household being brought up to the maximum monthly allowance for their group size. Eligible families will see the increased benefit amount on their Bridge Card and do not need to re-apply. More information can be found here.
MDHHS Issues Updated Epidemic Order: Mask Requirement Changed
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a revised version of its previous epidemic order.
The following is included in the new order:
- Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks indoors. Those who are not vaccinated or who have been vaccinated less than two weeks ago are still required to wear masks inside.
- Masks are no longer required outdoors.
The following continues to be required:
- Indoor residential gatherings are limited to 15 people from no more than three households. Outdoor residential gatherings are limited to 50 people, or 20 persons per 1,000 square feet (with a maximum capacity of 300 people).
- Restaurants and bars can be open at 50% capacity (with a maximum capacity of 100), and they can be open until 11 p.m.
- Retail shops can be open at 50% capacity.
- Gyms can be open at 30% capacity. Exercise equipment must be placed six feet apart.
- Movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, and other types of indoor recreation and entertainment venues can be open with 300 patrons at a time (with a maximum capacity of 50% normal capacity).
- Indoor stadiums with a fixed seating capacity of up to 10,000 can have 375 patrons.
- Indoor stadiums with a fixed seating capacity greater than 10,000 can have 750 patrons.
- Stadiums, arenas, and other outdoor recreation and entertainment venues have a maximum capacity of 1,000 patrons.
- Outdoor stadiums with a fixed seating capacity of up to 10,000 can have 1,000 patrons.
- Outdoor stadiums with a fixed seating capacity of greater than 10,000 can have 1,500 patrons.
- Fully vaccinated student athletes are no longer required to be routinely tested for COVID-19. Non-vaccinated athletes ages 13-19 are still required to participate in a weekly COVID-19 testing program.
- Masks will no longer be required during any sports practice or for non-contact sports. Masks are still recommended for non-vaccinated student athletes during contact sports games.
This order is effective through May 31. More information can be found at michigan.gov/coronavirus.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help.