Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful as we all do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is an uncertain time, but having accurate information and reliable resources can help alleviate some anxiety. The following information is current as of 3 p.m. on May 15, 2020.
Resources for Families, Children, and Seniors
- Today, Gov. Whitmer announced the Return to Learning Advisory Council. This council will advise the COVID-19 Task Force on Education on how to safely re-open schools in the fall. Members of the advisory council will include teachers, students, parents, administrators and public health officials. To apply for the Return to Learning Advisory Council, visit gov/appointments. Click “apply now” under boards and commissions, and then select “Return to School Advisory Council” on the appointment information page of the application. Applications must be submitted by May 20.
- Disaster relief child care centers will continue to operate through June 10 under Gov. Whitmer’s new executive order. With schools closed for the rest of the year, these centers provide child care services for healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers. Under this order, certain regulatory restrictions are lifted and school districts and hospitals are able to operate these child care centers. You can find out more information about disaster relief child care centers here.
- Attorney General Nessel issued a consumer alert yesterday to notify the public that the application process for the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline program has been simplified. This program provides low-income individuals with discounted telephone and internet service purchased from participating providers. Normally, applicants are required to present three consecutive months of income documentation in order to qualify. Due to the high unemployment rate, the FCC will provide a waiver through June 30 to allow individuals to supply them with an official document showing their current income information. This can be done with a notice of unemployment benefits. Current Lifeline subscribers who normally would have to recertify do not need to do so until June 30, 2020. You should contact your telephone or internet provider if you would like to apply. More information about Lifeline programs can be found here.
Other State Services, Resources, and Responses
- More than 31,000 state employees will be required to take two temporary layoff days per pay period beginning May 17 and going through July 25. These layoffs are being done under the federal Unemployment Insurance Agency Work Share program. This program is designed to help offset budget deficits that were created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers who are laid off will keep their health insurance and will be able to collect partial unemployment benefits. This does not affect any front line workers, including law enforcement and key health and human services employees. These layoffs will save the State of Michigan $80 million.
- Protections for residents and staff in long-term care facilities will continue through May 20. Under Executive Order 2020-84, originally signed on April 15, residential care facilities are required to have separate units for residents who either test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19. Any employees working in the COVID-19 section of the facility must be supplied with the appropriate PPE. This order also protects residents from evictions and employees from retaliation if they stay home because they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Executive Order 2020-78 will extend the expirations on valid driver’s licenses, state ID cards, and commercial vehicle registrations through July 31, 2020. This applies to state ID cards that were set to expire between February 1 and June 30, 2020. Penalties for driving with a recently expired but otherwise valid registration have also been suspended. This does not apply to those driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s licenses.
- Some requirements for minors to obtain work permits have been temporarily lifted. This change was made because school closures have made it more difficult for young workers to obtain necessary records from their schools. Under this executive order, these permits can be mailed, emailed, faxed, or sent online through June 8.
- Executive order 2020-80 will continue to allow administrative hearings to be held by phone or video conference in place of in-person hearings through June 8. This order also allows e-signatures to be used in place of written signatures on documents related to these hearings.
As we all continue to deal with the pandemic’s effects on the health and welfare of our communities, I will continue to provide up-to-date information for you and your family. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, my team and I are working from our homes. But we still strive to provide responsive service, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
67th House District
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