Rep. Phil Green of Millington today continued his work to help the unemployed, nursing home residents and others in Michigan hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest House votes come after the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling that struck down Gov. Whitmer’s coronavirus-related executive orders.
“My colleagues and I have tried to work with the governor to improve the state’s COVID-19 response from the very beginning,” Green said. “We’re still working, and the measures we approved today will help Thumb residents and their families in all sorts of ways.
“I am hopeful the days of the governor vetoing the Legislature’s efforts to help Michigan families are over, and that she will partner with us to do the right thing for everyone in our state trying to make it through these challenging times.”
Senate Bill 886 – approved by the House today — safeguards the Unemployment Insurance Agency benefits put in place to address the pandemic and guarantees those claims will continue uninterrupted for the maximum number of weeks allowed by the federal government. The plan would protect workers who left jobs to self-isolate or quarantine, as well as people who are immunocompromised or need to care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19. It also ensures job providers will continue to be held harmless for unemployment benefit charges if their employees were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes by implementing recommendations of the Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force. It prohibits the return of COVID-19-positive residents to nursing facilities unless they have recovered, or the facility has established a state-approved and dedicated area to care for people with the virus. The legislation also allows in-person, indoor visitation in nursing homes.
Other measures approved by the House 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.
• Allow important documents, such as wills, deeds and other forms to be signed and witnessed electronically through the end of 2020.
• Allow retirees to return to work to help the UIA or the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration with the overwhelming number of claims without forfeiting their retirement benefits.
• Prompts the full reopening of state unemployment offices and Secretary of State branches to better serve the public.
• 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.
Two of Rep. Phil Green’s major initiatives to help the Thumb – teacher retention and improved rural broadband – will receive additional resources through a budget plan approved by the Michigan Legislature.