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.
Redistricting Town Hall Available for Online Viewing, Public Hearing Thursday
In 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, which amended the state Constitution to place redistricting in the hands of a new Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. One of the factors the Commission must consider when redrawing the lines is “communities of interest.” Redistricting will affect every district for the state House of Representatives, state Senate and U.S. Congress. Census projections indicate that Michigan will lose one congressional seat.
Over the next few weeks, the Commission will hold public meetings where citizens can comment on the redistricting process and advocate for their community of interest. The Lansing public hearing is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 27, at 6 p.m., at the Lansing Center. You can also weigh in online.
To help shed some light on this brand-new process, I hosted a virtual town hall on redistricting earlier this week. If you are interested in learning about communities of interest but couldn’t attend the town hall, the video is available to watch here.
Fireworks Safety Package Introduced
Last week, my colleagues and I introduced a package of bills that would collectively repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011. Residents from Lansing and communities across the state have spoken out against the nuisance and dangers resulting from the 2011 legislation, which removed many restrictions on amateur use of fireworks. This package would also create safety guidelines to reduce property damage and the number of firework-related injuries.
MDHHS Issues Updated Epidemic Order That Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a revised version of its previous epidemic order. This new order is effective on June 1.
The following is included in the new order:
- Outdoor gathering capacity restrictions are eliminated.
- Indoor gatherings can be held at 50% capacity.
- Restaurants and bars can be open at 50% capacity.
The following continues to be required:
- 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.
- 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 July 1. More information can be found at michigan.gov/coronavirus.
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.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or by email at email@example.com if we can help.