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Rep Triston Cole
Rep. Cole, House approve plan to guide Michigan through COVID-19 pandemic
RELEASE|October 14, 2020
Contact: Triston Cole

State Rep. Triston Cole and the Michigan House have approved several measures to continue protecting Michigan families from COVID-19 and craft a smarter plan of action for the remainder of the pandemic.

In the wake of the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling that struck down the governor’s coronavirus-related executive orders, Cole said the House took action to extend the validity of driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, establish a plan to reopen local Secretary of State branches to the public, and offer other coronavirus-related protections for people, job providers and local communities.

“The Secretary of State continues to be overwhelmed by requests and remains unable to process transactions in a timely manner,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “People who have not been able to renew their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations are not at fault, and they don’t deserve to be punished or fined for their expired documents. We want to give them some peace of mind while they wait for branches to reopen.”

House Bills 5756-57, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, would extend the validity of vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses and state identification cards that expired after March 2020, and waive late fees associated with renewing expired documents. Senate Bill 748 would establish a plan to open state unemployment offices and Secretary of State branches to better serve the public.

Other measures approved by the House today would:

  • Provide local governments, school boards and other public bodies with a method to meet electronically, if necessary, to conduct business and engage with the public (SB 1108).
  • Safeguard the unemployment benefits put in place during the pandemic and guarantee those benefits will continue uninterrupted for the maximum number of weeks allowed by the federal government (SB 886).
  • Prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes by implementing common-sense recommendations of the nursing homes task force. The measures prohibit the return of COVID-19-positive residents unless they have fully recovered or the facility has established a dedicated area to properly care for and isolate people with the virus. In addition, the measures allow in-person visitations for all nursing home residents, requires health data reporting and a plan to address the testing needs for our most vulnerable (SB 1094 and HB 6137).
  • Safeguard the unemployment benefits put in place during the pandemic and guarantee those benefits will continue uninterrupted for the maximum number of weeks allowed by the federal government (SB 886).
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