Dear Friends,

This is a defining moment for our community, our state and our country. These are uncertain times, but I am confident that we will respond with strength and resilience, as Michigan always has.

Never hesitate to reach out to me at or by phone at (517) 373-0823. Since most staff is required to work remotely at this time, you may need to leave a message, but we will respond to you as quickly as possible.

Following more than 12 hours of deliberations yesterday, the Michigan House and Senate unanimously approved approximately $125 million in emergency coronavirus relief for Michigan residents. House Bill 4279 allocates $40 million for public health emergency response such as monitoring and testing, $50 million to support hospitals, nursing homes, and other critical health care facilities, and $35 million in other response activities. This is in addition to $25 million in emergency funding the Legislature approved last week, bringing the total to $150 million.

Though we have more work ahead of us, this funding is a critical first step in providing Michigan residents assistance as we continue to tackle this crisis together.


Expanding Unemployment Benefits

Beginning Monday, March 16, until Tuesday, April 14, Michigan is temporarily expanding unemployment benefit eligibility to those affected by COVID-19. Benefits will be extended to:

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, like child care due to school closures or caring for a loved one who is ill;
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised, and do not have access to paid leave time or are laid off; and
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined.

Benefits will also be extended from 20 to 26 weeks, the eligibility period would be increased from 14 to 28 days, and the normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.

For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit or call (866) 500-0017.


Additional Resources

For a complete list of strategies to keep you and your loved ones healthy, click here. For the latest information as the situation continues to develop, visit and

Families of students can find free meal pickup locations for their children by clicking here.

If you have health-related questions about COVID-19, call the statewide Coronavirus Hotline at (888) 535-6136. Public health experts are available to answer your calls seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Census 2020

As you may know, in mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. It is critical that you fill out the 9 question Census. Everyone living at the address matters and everyone needs to be counted including children.

The results of the Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade as well as the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. The results are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.