As we head into a holiday season that will be very difficult for all too many of us, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you or your family. If you are having issues with any part of the unemployment insurance application process, please fill out this form on my website so I can reach out to the UIA on your behalf and try to resolve them.
In order to represent you and your priorities, I rely on feedback from constituents. You can get in touch with me by phone at (517) 373-2577, by email at email@example.com, or on my website, rabhi.housedems.com. I will keep you updated on developments in Lansing with this monthly e-newsletter. If you would like to unsubscribe, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am grateful for the trust you have placed in me to represent our community in Lansing for the coming term; I am also honored that my colleagues have selected me to continue in my role as Democratic Floor Leader. I look forward to working together to move Michigan forward.
I regularly hold “Yousef and You” forums where anyone in our district can come to get an update on legislative issues, ask questions, and participate in open discussion. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these forums are being held virtually. We are conducting our discussions over Zoom until further notice. Please use the link below to register for the December discussion to be held Monday, December 14, at 6 p.m. I will announce the discussion schedule for 2021 shortly.
COVID-19 is at critical levels in our community
Coronavirus infections identified in our county are increasing exponentially. Cases are already more than three times higher than the previous peak in March. Cases in our county exceed contact tracing capacity, and urgent action is needed to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The Washtenaw County Health Department provides a list of testing sites here: https://www.washtenaw.org/3158/Testing. Drive-through saliva testing is now available at a new site on Wagner Road.
With encouraging news about vaccines and treatments that will likely be available in the coming months, it is even more important to keep people healthy until the virus can be controlled. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a free smartphone app that will notify you if your phone has been near the phone of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. It is anonymous and uses Bluetooth instead of GPS so that it only tracks proximity to other devices, not location. MDHHS has announced activity restrictions that are in place through December 8, summarized in this chart.
Legislative Lame Duck Session
The House is not scheduled to meet again until December, when the last business of the legislative session will be taken up in a three-week “Lame Duck” period. Any bills not passed by the end of the session would have to be re-introduced in the coming session. Although the legislative majority sued to overturn the basis of some of the governor’s emergency powers; so far, they have not acted on vital legislation to address the crisis. They haven’t even passed a mask mandate, but they did pass legislation to indemnify businesses that negligently expose workers or the public to coronavirus.
The Lame Duck period has in the past been an opportunity for legislators to pass the least popular items on their wish lists, because it is the time when public accountability is at its lowest. I hope that, instead, the people’s representatives will rise to meet this crisis at the state and federal levels.
Election Certification Process
In our first general election since voting accessibility was expanded under Proposal 3, we saw record-breaking turnout. More than 5.5 million Michiganders voted, and 3.26 million of them voted absent voter ballots. I am confident that the election was administered fairly, thanks to the efforts of thousands of election workers and volunteers across the state. All 83 counties certified the results of the general election by the Nov. 17 deadline, and the Board of State Canvassers voted to approve the official statewide canvass on Monday, Nov. 23. The next step in the presidential Electoral College process is for the governor to certify the election to the United States Secretary of State and send the electors sealed copies of their election certificates. The electors will then convene in the Michigan Senate Chamber on December 14, at 2 p.m. to cast their Electoral College votes.
Get covered before Dec. 15
Enrollment is open for the federal health insurance marketplace until December 15. If you are uninsured, you may qualify for a subsidized or even a free plan, or for expanded Medicaid. Even if you already have a current-year plan that will renew automatically, you should check the marketplace because subsidies and available plans change each year. You can apply online at healthcare.gov , by phone (800) 318-2596, or with a paper application.
You can get free expert assistance applying for insurance from the Washtenaw Health Plan at email@example.com or (734) 544-3030.