I know that I have said it before, and I know it will not be the last time I say it – these last few days have not been easy on any of us.
We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now millions of Americans have been taking to the streets to express their hurt and frustration with the lack of accountability for excessive force use by law enforcement and continuing racial injustice.
All violence is inappropriate and should be denounced, and seeing our neighbors all over House District 52 peacefully demonstrating in Manchester, Dexter, Chelsea, Saline and Ann Arbor should make all of us proud.
Today, in downtown Saline at 5pm I will be joining and standing with Saline Police Chief Jerrod Hart, Washtenaw County Commissioner Shannon Beeman, and Saline Mayor Brian Marl in solidarity with peaceful demonstrators all over Michigan.
If we can, we should be considerate by wearing masks in public, reducing our public activities and socially distancing. The state is moving quickly now through the re-opening phases, with Washtenaw in Phase 4 and expected to move to Phase 5 in the near future. (Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Phase 5 also allows indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people are permissible.)
During the “Safer at Home” order, my staff and I will not be in our Lansing office regularly. We will be in the 52nd District working to assist you and to advocate for our community’s needs. To reach out, please email me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
Please remember to wash your hands regularly, avoid direct contact with others and if you feel ill, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.
COVID-19 Michigan Statistics
At this time, Michigan ranks 7th total COVID-19 tests, 9th in the nation for the number of COVID-19 cases, but ranks 6th in COVID-19 deaths. You can see our state’s COVID-19 statistics and data here.
State Total Confirmed Cases: 58,241
State Total Deaths: 5,595
State Total Tests: 722,555
Washtenaw County Total Confirmed Cases: 1,347
Washtenaw County Total Deaths: 100
Information is changing rapidly. We are working hard to share updates and information as quickly as possible on social media. Please take a moment to like and follow me on Facebook, as this is where information will first be shared.
Senate Bill 945 – Law Enforcement Training
The Michigan Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 945, which requires incoming law enforcement officers to go through training on implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, and mental health screenings. I will be voting in favor of this bill when it comes before the House for a full vote.
House Joint Resolution 267
Last week, my colleagues from the other side of the aisle introduced a resolution urging the federal government “not to bail out states’ budget shortfalls” due to COVID-19.
The federal government providing aid to states facing a budget crisis is not a “bailout”.
This is about the billions of dollars that Michiganders pay in federal taxes return home. This is our money that would come back to Michigan. It’s not a bailout to help fund our schools, roads, parks, police, firefighters, water infrastructure and to get small businesses back on their feet.
The $3.2 billion budget hole Michigan faces this year will undermine our schools, infrastructure, local governments, police, firefighters, and basic services across the board.
The resolution offered by my colleagues is irresponsible. It is a dereliction of our duty to serve and protect the well-being of our constituents.
Thanks to everyone doing their part to mitigate the spread of COIVD-19, our entire state has entered phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan. And we will soon be entering Phase 5.
- Retailers, subject to capacity limits, reopened on June 4th.
- Restaurants, subject to capacity limits, will reopen on June 8th.
- Day camps for children can open on June 8th.
Groups of 100 or less will be allowed gather outdoors with social distancing, effective immediately.
- Office work that is not capable of being performed remotely can resume.
- In-home services, like housecleaning services, can resume operations.
- Secretary of State Offices reopened for appointment only for essential transactions not available online on June 1st.
Starting June 10th, Regions 6 and 8 — which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula — will advance to Phase 5 of the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan.
Starting June 15th, personal services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide.
Phase 5 allows:
- Salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to reopen
- Indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized events allowed if people maintain six feet of distance and the gathering consists of no more than 250 people
- In addition, outdoor performance and sporting venues will be open with a larger capacity limit of 500, which will allow for some outdoor graduation ceremonies.
Our state launched the MI Start Map dashboard in partnership with the University of Michigan School of Public Health. This dashboard visually illustrates COVID-19 risks and trends in Michigan to help provid you with important information about the pandemic status where you live and work.
You can view the MI Start Map here.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at DonnLasinski@house.mi.gov.
Tuesday Town Halls
Out of an abundance of caution, all previously scheduled coffee hours and in-district meetings are cancelled.
If you have lost your employer-provided health care due to layoffs, reduced hours, or a change in income during the COVID-19 crisis, please remember that you have up to 60 days to enroll in new coverage.
If you have questions, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services can help. Contact DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442 if you need assistance.
Find if you are eligible for the special enrollment period here.
Apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace here.
Small Business Assistance
As business reopen, there are going to be questions about how they can acquire PPE to protect their employees and customers.
The MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program has created webpage specifically to connect businesses needing access to PPE – including face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other materials — with Michigan businesses that supply PPE.
The webpage can be accessed here.
The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) has released a comprehensive set of resources, guides and tips for small businesses preparing to reopen and operate safely as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBAM has include numerous ideas for small businesses to consider when enacting safe workplace procedures, revising employee manuals, policies and handbooks, and information for employers to discuss with staff.
This site also has a comprehensive list of sources for small businesses to obtain safety equipment and personal protection equipment. Visit the site here.
This is an extremely difficult time for those with mental health issues. They may not able to see their doctors face-to-face, feelings of isolation and loneliness, or not being able to see loved may exacerbate conditions.
If you need someone to talk to, the state has launched a statewide, peer-run warmline for Michiganders living with persistent mental health conditions during this pandemic.
The warmline will operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753).
It is intended to serve individuals living with persistent mental health challenges including anxiety, depression and trauma.
Individuals in crisis, including those considering suicide, are urged to contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 at 800-985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.
If you have yet to apply, please visit here to watch informational videos on how to apply or access your federal benefits application.
Visit here for the MiWAM toolkit to help you navigate the MiWAM website and properly set up your account.
If you have questions as you apply, or are unsure of what you will need to apply visit here for the UIA’s Unemployment Benefits FAQ.
For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit Michigan.gov/UIA or call (866) 500-0017.
Faith in Action is still proudly serving the families of Western Washtenaw County. If you need food assistance, or you know someone who might need help, Faith in Action is still operating and delivering food.
They can be contacted by calling (734) 475-3305.
Their hours of operation are:
M/W: 11am-7pm Tu/Th: 9am-4pm Friday: closed
Meals for School Age Students
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Breakfast and lunch packages are available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. If you can’t make the pick-ups or have food allergy concerns, call the AAPS Food Service Hotline at 734-994-2265. For more information, including pickup locations, visit here.
Chelsea School District
Food Service is providing sack breakfast and lunch meals for students from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chelsea High School commons entrance. If you do not have transportation, contact the district at 734-433-2208 ext. 6082 to discuss alternative plans.
Dexter Community Schools
Drive-up pickup will be in the Mill Creek Parking Lot from 8:00-9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Families can pick up on both Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Each pickup will include breakfast and lunch for 7 days worth per child. For families who cannot come in to pick up food or have special dietary needs, we have established a hotline number to call 734-424-4186.
Manchester Community Schools
Visit michigan.gov.meetupeatup for all of the school locations providing meals. These meals are available to all children ages 0-18 at no cost.
Governor Whitmer acted to protect workers from retaliation by their employers, if they stay home because one of their close contacts has tested positive for COVID-19: Click here for post and further information.
The Attorney General’s office has created a website to help you “know your rights” as an employee if you are still required to work during this time. Click here
52nd District Resources
My office and I have created a Google Drive of resources and information regarding COVID-19 for individuals, employers and employees. Click here to access the entire drive.
You can receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
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United Way of Washtenaw County Free Tax Preparation Help
As the new year begins, we also need to start preparing to file our 2019 taxes. The United Way of Washtenaw County offers free tax preparation help to those who are eligible. To see if you are eligible for their tax preparation help, please visit the website below. If you are eligible, you can schedule your appointment online or call the phone number below.
Please note that they will only be able to help with the 2019 tax filing year. Prior years will be on hold until spring 2020 (after this tax season).
Phone: (734) 677-7235
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State Representative Donna Lasinski