Expanding telemedicine will improve access to health care in COVID-19 era

Access to health services is one challenge families in the Upper Peninsula are all too familiar with. Even in normal times, providers in rural communities are few and far between – and if you need to see a specialist you’re likely in for an hours-long drive. The problem has grown even worse in the COVID-19…

Rep. Markkanen: Upper Peninsula retail shops, bars, restaurants allowed to reopen Friday

State Rep. Greg Markkanen today said retail shops, restaurants and bars in the Upper Peninsula are ready to begin reopening to customers this week. Markkanen, of Hancock, said many small bars and restaurants are struggling to remain open after being restricted to take-out only service by the governor’s executive orders since March 16. Retail shops…

Rep. Markkanen: Gov. Whitmer moves in right direction with revised stay-at-home order

State Rep. Greg Markkanen today said he is pleased the governor decided to heed the recommendations of legislators who have implored her to allow certain workers to return to their jobs and loosen restrictions on the sale of goods and services, outdoor activities like golf and motorboating, and the freedom to travel between residences. The…

COLUMN: Stop telling people their jobs aren’t essential, start focusing on safety

Right now, Michigan residents can purchase marijuana products curbside from a dispensary, but they can’t purchase plants and gardening supplies curbside from a local greenhouse. People can line up at the party store to purchase liquor and lottery tickets, but they can’t buy paint or flooring to spruce up their homes. And paying someone to…

Rep. Markkanen: More forced layoffs not the answer to Michigan’s problems

Common-sense adjustments would allow people to stay at work safely State Rep. Greg Markkanen today said the governor moved in the wrong direction when she put even more restrictions on Michigan workers while extending her stay-at-home order until through April 30. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered that stores no longer sell what she considers non-essential items…

Rep. Markkanen calls on governor to fix broken unemployment system

State Rep. Greg Markkanen today called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to take aggressive actions to address wait times and other problems with the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Markkanen, of Hancock, said the Whitmer administration’s failure to address the UIA’s inability to keep up with new filings is hurting Michigan families – and the problem is getting…

Rep. Markkanen: Houghton disaster relief funding measure sent to governor

Supplemental budget also includes funds for Gogebic County, job training State Rep. Greg Markkanen today announced a supplemental budget plan approved by the Legislature this week includes disaster relief funding for Houghton County. Markkanen, of Hancock, said the plan includes $1.4 million to help the Houghton County Road Commission repair roads that were damaged during…

Rep. Markkanen: House passes budget supplemental with funding for Gogebic County

Legislator continues fight to fix county’s pension liability issue State Rep. Greg Markkanen today said long-awaited funding to help Gogebic County resolve a pension liability issue is included in a budget supplemental plan approved today by the Michigan House. Markkanen, of Hancock, said the plan sets aside $971,000 to cover the shortfalls in pension costs…