Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my first e-newsletter of the new legislative term. I am honored for the ongoing opportunity to represent the 50th House District in Lansing. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff by phone at (517) 373-3906 or by email at email@example.com with any comments, questions or concerns that can help improve our communities.
In This Edition:
- Unemployment Information
- Restaurants to Reopen Feb. 1
- SOS Information
- Lawmakers call for more Vaccines in Genesee County
- Pure Michigan Winter Travel Guide
- Helpful Resources
The pandemic continues to make it difficult for hardworking families to make ends meet through no fault of their own. Thankfully some relief has been renewed once again for those who have lost their job. UIA extensions and expansions include:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Extends and phases out PUA, a temporary federal program covering self-employed and gig workers, to March 14 (after which no new applicants) through April 5, 2021.
- Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by extending PUA from 39 to 50 weeks— with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.
- New PUA program eligibility requirements: New and active claimants must provide documentation to substantiate employment (not just self-certification as is currently the case) starting at the end of January.
- Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC): Provides all unemployment recipients with an additional $300 per week from Dec. 27 through Mar. 13, 2021.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): Extends and phases out PEUC, which provides additional weeks when state unemployment runs out, to March 14 (after which no new applications) through April 5, 2021.
- Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by increasing weeks available from 13 to 24—with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.
For additional UIA information, please visit Michigan.gov/UIA.
Restaurants to Reopen Feb. 1
During the governor’s COVID-19 update yesterday, she announced the temporary restart of indoor group fitness classes and non-contact sports beginning on Jan. 16. Restaurants may also resume indoor dining on Feb. 1, pending further evaluation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and will have to follow strict safety guidelines that will be released soon.
Along with so many other impacts, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has required the Secretary of State’s branch offices to reduce their in-person capacity to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers alike. Starting this spring, residents will be able to do even more from self-service stations and from the comfort of their homes.
New procedures will also be implemented:
- An electronic lien and title program will begin, making lien and title information available online for lienholders in lieu of a paper certificate of title.
- The graduated driver licensing process will be simplified to reduce customer visits to the branch.
- Mechanic testing registration will be available online only to mechanics with a Michigan driver’s license or state ID. Also, while the new system is installed, from Jan. 15 to March 15, online registration for mechanic tests will not be available at all, and mechanics will need to make appointments at their branch offices to register for a test.
Additional details and customer conveniences made possible by the technology rehaul will be announced closer to the launch. Visit Michigan.gov/SOS to access online services and to find a self-service station near you.
Lawmakers call for more Vaccines in Genesee County
This week, my House Democratic colleagues and I called on the governor to distribute COVID-19 vaccines “in a fair manner”, after discovering that Genesee County received the sixth-lowest distribution to local health departments of all 83 Michigan counties when adjusted for population differences. I will continue to monitor this ongoing situation to ensure our county is not left behind. For more details, please click here to access our press release and visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVACCINE for more COVID-19 vaccine information.
I joined my House colleagues for Opening Day of Michigan’s 101st Legislature on Jan. 13, 2021.
FREE Fishing Weekend – February 13-14
The 2021 Winter Free Fishing Weekend is taking place on February 13-14! Residents and non-residents alike can fish Michigan waters that weekend without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply. For more information, please visit Michigan.gov/FREEFISHING.
Pure Michigan Winter Travel Guide
The Pure Michigan Winter Travel Guide is available to help you plan your next winter adventure, experience a change of scenery or head outside for fun winter activities. To access the electronic free travel guide, please visit Michigan.org/TRAVEL-GUIDE.