Dear Neighbor,

Gov. Whitmer recently signed several pieces of legislation to address COVID-19 and its effects throughout 2021. Many of these bills were based on the governor’s previous executive orders or legislation that was set to expire at the end of the year.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Senate Bill 748 provides $106 million of COVID-19 relief funds, including $55 million to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and $45 million for direct payment to workers who have lost their employment due to the virus.
  • Senate Bill 241 puts in place a water shutoff moratorium until March 31, 2021, and it requires public water suppliers to make their best efforts to determine what households don’t have water service.
  • Healthcare
    • Senate Bill 879 allows for early refills of prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Senate Bill 920 provides pharmacies enhanced capacity and flexibility during the pandemic.
    • Senate Bill 1021 allows licensed Canadian health professionals to work in Michigan.
  • Local Government
    • House Bill 5825 modifies county board of review and equalization procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Senate Bills 1186, 1187, 1188 and 1189 allow for remote signing, witnessing, notarizing, and recording through June 30, 2021.
    • Senate Bill 1246 allows local governmental bodies and school boards to meet remotely through March 31, 2021.
  • Employers and Employees
    • House Bill 4694 allows retired school district employees to substitute teach or drive buses in underserved areas during the COVID-19 pandemic without effect on retirement benefits.
    • Senate Bill 592 allows Department of Corrections retirees to return to work as a contractor without effect on their retirement benefits.
    • Senate Bill 604 continues the 26-week extension of unemployment benefits through March 31, 2021. This bill also makes special accommodations so domestic abuse survivors are allowed to collect unemployment benefits if they had to leave a job to protect themselves from their abusers.
    • Senate Bill 910 modifies the student work permit application and approval process during a declared state of emergency.
    • Senate Bill 1203 amends the General Property Tax Act so that personal property will not be assessed for the 2021 tax year. This makes it easier for businesses to allow employees to remotely use company-owned equipment.
    • Senate Bill 1258 exempts essential workers from the 14-day quarantine period that is currently required following COVID-19 exposure provided that the workers are vaccinated.

The governor vetoed Senate Bill 1253, which would have limited emergency public health orders to 28 days or less unless the Senate and House agreed to an extension. She also vetoed Senate Bill 1185, which would have granted immunity to health care providers and entities providing services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team and I are still providing responsive service as we work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at if we can help.


Kara Hope
State Representative